"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make (Sessions') continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic, " Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.
Trump's lawyer says the president "never, in form or substance" directed Comey to stop investigating anyone, and Republicans suggested Comey was reading too much into it.
Trump and aides referenced those comments in claiming vindication, but some officials said Comey's statements that Trump leaned on him to drop the Russian Federation investigation could add up to obstruction of justice.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican, and Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top-ranking Democrat, announced after the news conference they have asked the White House to produce any recordings or memoranda that might exist of Trump's conversations with Comey. The committee also sent a letter to Comey asking for any notes or memos in his possession about the discussions he had with Trump before being abruptly fired last month. Trump said "no" when asked if he demanded a loyalty pledge from Comey. "Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey declared today.
Comey testified that after he was sacked, he orchestrated a selective leak in order to prompt a lengthy special counsel investigation of the president, knowing full well that the FBI had found no reason to place the president under investigation.
Former FBI director James Comey's dramatic testimony before Congress last Thursday brought big audiences to USA broadcast and cable networks, drawing about 19.5 million viewers, according to data from the Nielsen ratings agency.
"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", Trump wrote, adding, "and WOW, Comey is a leaker!"
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Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in a hearing that the Trump administration had offered "shifting explanations" for his firing, which was confusing and concerning.
After Comey's testimony, Trump knows better than anyone that threat is real and gathering. "And some of the things he said just weren't true". Comey told senators he believed Trump fired him because of the Russian Federation investigation.
Trump agreed Wednesday not to directly engage on Comey, and by the time the ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director took the witness stand, tweeting "was not something he was considering", one senior White House official said.
Mr Comey also confirmed that he had shared a memo detailing a meeting with Mr Trump to the press through a friend but did so in the hope that a special counsel might be appointed.
The president had previewed his attacks against Mr Comey in an early-morning tweet that broke his previous day's silence on his favorite social media megaphone.
Trump referenced these supposed tapes in a perfectly normal, non-threatening tweet back in May.
Comey said that language "tracked" how the Clinton campaign was talking about the FBI's work.
Iohannis spoke of Trump's remarks last month about some members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation not spending enough of defense, saying he liked the USA president's speech on the matter.
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