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Collins: Comey Created Precedent For One-On-One Meetings, Trump Was Continuing Practice

14 Juin 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that former FBI Director James Comey's testimony under oath before Congress on Thursday contained statements that weren't true.

When asked if he really did have tapes of his conversations with Comey as he'd alluded to in a tweet published last month, President Trump declined to confirm or deny their existence.

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey said during his testimony Thursday.

Comey also said Trump didn't tell the truth about an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn, who resigned in February over misleading statements he made to Vice-President Mike Pence about his conversations with a Russian diplomat.

"But he testified under oath and I do believe that he's an individual of integrity who would not deliberately lie under oath", Collins told CNN.

Mr Trump has told local media.

And I wonder if perhaps that made the president think that whenever there's some sensitive conversation to be had with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, that it should be one-on-one, because he had two subsequent one-on-one meetings, as well as other phone calls, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director. In his testimony, Comey detailed months of distrust of the president and bluntly asserted that Trump had fired him to interfere with the probe of Russia's ties to the Trump campaign. And, as several legal experts have noted, it wasn't illegal for Comey to leak it.

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The picture Comey painted of the president will further undermine the willingness of trade partners and Democrats to deal with him.

Comey's testimony added fuel to critics' accusations that Trump's actions around the Russian Federation probe might have amounted to obstruction of justice.

Mr Trump's private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Mr Comey's admission that he had orchestrated the public release of the information.

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

"It is totally wrong - I'll go beyond inappropriate - it is wrong for the president of the United States to tell or imply to an FBI director that an investigation should not go forward", she told CNN. "I was so stunned by the conversation, I just took it in".

During a discussion of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Comey disclosed that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, an Obama administration appointee, instructed him to refer to the issue as a "matter", not an "investigation". The opposite occurred, as the firing created a political firestorm that has stalled Trump's legislative agenda and taken over Washington.

Trump has begrudgingly accepted that assessment.

Collins: Comey Created Precedent For One-On-One Meetings, Trump Was Continuing Practice