Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he took meticulous notes about his meetings 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.”
The subject of Trump’s veracity came up several times during the course of the morning.
“Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray,” he said. “That it was poorly led. That the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them and I’m so sorry the American people were told them.”
Although Comey said he would not characterize Trump’s actions as obstruction of justice and would not claim collusion between the Trump team and Russia “in an open session.”
“That’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting,” Comey responded. “As I said, when I left, we did not have an investigation focused on President Trump. But that’s a question that will be answered by the investigation I think.”
Comey did go so far as to say he understood Trump to be ordering him to drop the probe of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I took it as a direction,” Comey told lawmakers when asked about the private Valentine’s Day chat at the White House during which he quoted Trump as saying, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”