A day after former FBI Director James Comey told Congress that President Donald Trump had urged him to let go of an investigation of a top aide, Mr. Trump flatly denied that charge, telling reporters at the White House that he was willing to be interviewed by the special counsel investigating Russian election interference.
“Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of events?” the President was asked by ABC’s Jon Karl.
“100 percent,” Mr. Trump replied, as he denied leaning on Comey to go easy on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“I didn’t say that, I will tell you, I didn’t say that,” the President added.
“James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things he said just weren’t true,” Mr. Trump said of his former FBI’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
One of the items they differ on was Comey’s contention that the President has asked him to express a pledge of loyalty to the new President.
Not true, Mr. Trump said.
“I hardly know the man,” the President answered, as he declared that the Comey testimony had shown he was guilty of absolutely nothing.
“Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction,” the President declared at a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden with the President of Romania.
“He’s a leaker,” the President said dismissively of Comey, whom he fired one month ago.
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Mr. Trump had written earlier on Twitter, as he retweeted a Fox News segment that included a favorable assessment from constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz.
The President did not answer one question that he was asked by reporters – whether tapes exist of conversations that he had with Comey.
“I’ll tell you about that – maybe sometime in the near future,” the President teased. “You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.”
Soon after Mr. Trump’s comments about possible tapes, the House Intelligence Committee asked the White House Counsel to produce any recordings of Trump-Comey conversations, and turn them over to the panel by June 23.
The same panel also asked Comey to turn over his memos of any conversations with the President.
Also, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to a Columbia Law School professor, who helped Comey leak part of his memos to the New York Times.
That letter – which went out on Thursday – asked Daniel Richman to turn over any copies of the memos by today.