Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last month, told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he hopes there are tapes of his private conversations with Trump.
“I’ve seen the tweet about tapes,” Comey said, referring to Trump’s May 12 tweet apparently threatening to release tapes of ostensibly private conversations between himself and Comey.
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said.
Comey’s comment came in response to questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein about Trump’s conversation with Comey in the Oval Office concerning the FBI’s investigation into the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Comey testified that Trump asked him to end the bureau’s investigation into Flynn, who was fired by Trump after he misrepresented conversations he had with Russian officials to Vice President Mike Pence. Comey said he was “stunned” by Trump’s request, which he interpreted as a “direction,” and which the president made directly to Comey after asking all of his top advisers to leave the room.
“Why didn’t you stop and say, ‘Mr. President, this is wrong, I cannot discuss this with you?'” Feinstein asked.
Comey responded that he was unprepared to respond to the president’s question and might have refused Trump’s request if he had had more “presence of mind” in the moment.
“It’s a great question. Maybe if I was stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in,” Comey told Feinstein, adding that he was trying to remember every word Trump was saying in order to memorialise the conversation after the meeting.
“I hope I’ll never have another opportunity, but maybe if I did it again, I’d do it differently,” Comey added.
Watch the video below:
We can all agree with Jim Comey that, Lordy, we hope there are tapes.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 8, 2017
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