In what he says “clearly” proves no collusion between Russia and his campaign in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump said that recently released memos written by former FBI Director James Comey exonerated him.
According to Fox News, the president Tweeted Thursday that Comey’s memos, which had been written about his interactions with Trump, prove that the former director had never felt obstructed by Trump in regard to the investigation of alleged collusion.
“James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION,” Trump Tweeted.
“Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”
The memos also highlighted that nearly eight days after his rise to the presidency, Trump spoke to Comey and insisted that he “needed loyalty and expected loyalty.”
Comey wrote that the president noted his decision to “not reply, or even nod or change my facial expression.”
The former director added that he and Trump came back to the discussion sometime later, where Trump repeated his need for loyalty and to which Comey replied he would always give “honest loyalty” — a statement the president seemed to approve of.
“I replied that he would always get honesty from me,” said Comey. “(Trump) paused and said that’s what he wants, ‘honest loyalty.’ I replied, ‘you will get that from me.'”
“It is possible we understood that phrase differently,” Comey added. “But I chose to understand it as consistent with what I had said throughout the conversation: I will serve the President with loyalty to the office, the country, and the truth. I decided it would not be productive to push the subject further.”
However, Comey said that the president had called him in two months later and pressed for the FBI director to make a public statement indicating that trump wasn’t under investigation regarding contacts between members of his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian officials.
“I reminded (Trump) that I had told him we weren’t investigating him and that I had told the Congressional leadership the same thing,” Comey wrote. “(Trump) said it would be great if that could get out and several times asked me to find a way to get that out.”
In a joint statement, other Washington officials such as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.; and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., recognized that the memos made clear the president’s goals, which they suggest were anything but illegal.
“The memos also made clear the ‘cloud’ President Trump wanted lifted was not the Russian interference in the 2016 election cloud,” they said. “Rather it was the salacious, unsubstantiated allegations related to personal conduct leveled in the ‘dossier’ compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.”
“While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation,” they added.
Yet, some Democrats in Washington disagreed, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated (without explanation) that the memos were “further proof” of Trump’s disregard for the law.
“His attempts to intimidate, circumvent the law & undermine integrity of law enforcement investigations demand immediate action to protect the Mueller investigation,” Pelosi said.
Through it all, however, Comey has maintained that his original desire for taking notes was due to the fact that he was concerned with the politics surrounding him, particularly in his conversations with the president.
“I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document,” Comey told senators during a hearing last summer, just a month after he was fired by Trump. “That combination of things I had never experienced before, but had led me to believe I got to write it down and write it down in a very detailed way.”
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