President Trump tweeted his response to testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey just after 6 a.m. Friday morning.
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
Trump's Twitter feed remained silent throughout Comey's Senate intelligence committee hearing Thursday. His son, Donald Trump Jr. did tweet during the session.
During several hours of testimony Comey laid bare months of White House distrust, accusing the administration at an extraordinary open hearing of spreading “lies” and bluntly asserting that President Donald Trump had fired him to interfere with an investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. Comey revealed that he’d orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation.
“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey said toward the end of more than two hours of testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. “I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.
Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Comey’s admission that he had told Trump on multiple occasions that he was not personally under investigation and maintained the testimony made clear that Trump “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone.”
Kasowitz also jumped on Comey’s revelation that he had released details of his private conversations with the president, casting the former FBI director as one of the “leakers” set on undermining the Trump administration.
At one point he practically dared Trump to release any recordings of their conversations, a prospect the president once alluded to in a tweet.
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said, suggesting such evidence would back up his account over the president’s.
Thursday’s hearing brought Washington and other parts of the country to a standstill as Americans sat glued to their screens, harkening to the Watergate congressional hearings that held the nation rapt some four decades earlier.
Republicans mindful of the gravity of the moment worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing. They tried to undermine Comey’s credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance where the FBI had to clean up the director’s testimony to Congress.