Angus King on Trump-Comey 'tapes': 'Release them'

Comey testified he kept notes after meeting with Trump because "I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document".

Trump's tweet comes ahead of a news conference planned Friday.

That included making fun of the comments of Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who said that Trump was new at the job and did not understand protocols during his meetings with Comey.

Now, however, Trump's denial of any Russian Federation connection and of the dossier's sexual allegations exists in direct juxtaposition with his statements to Comey that the Russian Federation investigation was casting a shadow over his presidency. Daniel Richman later confirmed to Reuters he was the one to whom Comey referred in his testimony.

Even Senator Marco Rubio, who was among a number of Republicans who battled Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, seemed to be advocating for him at times during the hearing.

Three days after he fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief last month, Trump tweeted: "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Comey added an element of intrigue to the hearings when he said he knew of a "variety of reasons" why Attorney General Jeff Sessions' involvement in the Russian Federation investigation would be problematic but that he couldn't discuss those reasons "in an open setting".

Still, there was no doubt the veteran lawman made for a challenging adversary.

"If there are investigations of a client he'd need to recuse himself", Mr Steven Lubet, a legal ethics professor at Northwestern University, said. "I know I was sacked because of something about the way I was conducting the Russian Federation investigation was in some way putting pressure on him, in some way irritating him, and he chose to fire me because of that".

How often does Washington hear that kind of candor? But after he was sacked, he said "the administration chose to defame me" as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, live tweeted throughout Comey's testimony, taking the ex-FBI director to task for his version of what the president told him. "President, this is wrong - I can not discuss that with you"?" The two men later agreed that Comey would give his "honest loyalty".

Trump says Comey cleared him. He didn't
In this February 11, 2014, file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Trump on Friday said Comey's testimony showed "no obstruction".

The Justice Department again on Thursday said no such meeting ever took place.

Comey said he felt he needed to get his account of his conversations with Trump in the public sphere in the hope it might prompt the appointment of a special counsel, which later occurred.

"Based only on what we know now in public, a reasonable prosecutor might bring this case against an ordinary person", he said.

Trump may simply have wanted to make sure that Comey didn't believe the allegations. Instead, Kasowitz pushed back and the president remained conspicuously silent on Twitter during the hearing despite expectations he might respond.

Lara Trump, one of the president's daughters-in-law and a former campaign aide, entered the White House press room Thursday afternoon and told reporters that she had just met privately with Trump and "he looks very relaxed" and is doing "as well as anyone could do" under the circumstances. Many Democrats want to believe in a stolen-election theory that would reveal Trump as an evil genius.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.: Hello there. "President, this is wrong"'.

"It's a great question", Comey replied. "Maybe if I were stronger I would have".

"I took it as a direction". Comey delivered his answer clearly. The opposite occurred, as the firing created a political firestorm that has stalled Trump's legislative agenda and taken over Washington.

"There should be no fuzz on this".

"However, on March 2, 2017, the Attorney General's Chief of Staff sent the attached email specifically informing Mr. Comey and other relevant Department officials of the recusal and its parameters, and advising that each of them instruct their staff "not to brief the Attorney General. about, or otherwise involve the Attorney, any matters described", stated DOJ's statement".

Trump has begrudgingly accepted that assessment.

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