Trump claims 'complete vindication' after Comey testimony


President Donald Trump punched back at James B. Comey on Friday, saying the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director's testimony to Congress the previous day showed Comey is "a leaker", turned Comey's accusation that the president lied back at him and vowed to testify before the Justice Department's special counsel investigating Russia's 2016 election meddling.

Rather than relieve the pressure, Trump's decision to fire Comey has generated an even bigger political and legal threat. "Tell me the difference between your conclusion as far as former Secretary Clinton is concerned and Mr. Trump".

Trump's aides have repeatedly dodged questions about whether conversations relevant to the Russian Federation investigation have been recorded, and so did the president.

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", Trump wrote, suggesting that Comey had committed perjury. "I was so stunned by the conversation, I just took it in". On Thursday, Comey testified that not only did he reassure Trump on several occasions, but that he, Comey, saw absolutely nothing wrong in his actions. The president's lawyer has hinted the ousted lawman should be prosecuted for the leak.

Trump said Arab leaders he met with in Saudi Arabia last month had urged him to confront Qatar over its behavior. After Comey's morning of testimony on Capitol Hill, any honest investigation will have to include the president himself.

Trump fired Comey on May 9. But on March 2, Prior said, Sessions' chief of staff Jody Hunt sent an email informing Comey and other department officials about the recusal and its scope.

It highlighted Mr Comey's admission that after he was sacked he asked a friend to leak details of a memo about a White House meeting he had with the president to the media.

If Robert Mueller, the independent prosecutor now running the FBI investigation, has not subpoenaed the tapes yet, you can believe somebody is drafting an order.

CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement.

Trump has scheduled a joint news conference for Friday afternoon with visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Comey asserted Thursday that Trump fired him because of the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump also denied asking Comey for a pledge of loyalty during one of a string of private meetings.

Trump was uncharacteristically quiet during Comey's thundering Senate testimony.

The Republican president stopped short of saying that Mr Comey lied under oath.

Comey's testimony provided a gripping account of his interactions with Trump and underscored the discord that had soured their relationship.

Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had made him uncomfortable when she asked him to refer to the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails a "matter" instead of an "investigation".

Comey knew the whole thing could come down to his word against the president's, and he wanted the memos to serve as proof of his version of events.