A day after United States’ former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Donald Trump claimed “total and complete vindication” and called Comey a “leaker”. In an early morning tweet on Friday, Trump said, “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”
This was Trump’s first tweet since June 7, with reports suggesting that White House officials had tried to keep him busy to avoid him tweeting while the testimony was being broadcast live to millions of viewers around the country.
In response, Democratic senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii tweeted “this is not just another silly tweet … it is essential for our country that the president offer his testimony to Congress about what exactly happened.”
In his testimony on Thursday, Comey had said he had been aware of Russian cyber intrusion in the US from the summer of 2015. He had said he had “no doubt” Russia had interfered with the presidential election. Comey had also said he thought the president’s words to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia were an order.
“I didn’t obey that,” Comey said. “But that’s what I thought.” Comey was speaking publicly for the first time since his firing on May 9 by Trump. His testimony lasted nearly three hours. Trump had reportedly watched some of the hearing with his lawyers, reported The Guardian.
Comey also said that the Trump had lied in trying to undermine him and the FBI, and that he was had been highly uncomfortable with some of the interactions he had had with Trump.
Comey had said he believed he was sacked because of the Russia investigation. “I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” he said. “I take him at his word, based on what I know now.’’ Trump had confirmed in a TV interview that he had sacked Comey because of the investigation, though his team had repeatedly tried to claim otherwise.
Comey also claimed that President Donald Trump lied to the American public when he said that the FBI was in disarray and that agents had lost confidence in him. “Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey had said.
Later, Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr, went on a Twitter rampage to defend his father and referred to the testimony as a joke.