Truth-teller Trump: Comey lied

Even as Comey chronicled his disturbing encounters with Trump, he also affirmed some important strands of the White House narrative.

During nearly three hours of statements Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey described himself as "stunned" by Trump's "very disturbing" and "very concerning" behavior towards him.

Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee asked on Friday for Comey's memos to be handed over, and separately sent a letter to the White House demanding any "recordings or memoranda" of conversations with Comey that Trump or the White House may or may not possess.

Trump lashed out at Comey, branding him a "leaker" for indirectly providing to reporters the contents of memos summarizing their private conversations in the weeks before he was sacked. There might be a tape.

And Comey admitted he asked a friend to leak those notes to a reporter, betting - correctly - that the details would prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor.

But Donald Trump refused to say whether his private conversations with the fired FBI Director were taped - an issue at the centre of conflicting accounts of what passed between them. "If I didn't, I did it for almost all of them, especially the ones that were substantive", he said.

"Well, I'll tell you about that - maybe sometime in the very near future", Mr Trump said. "You're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer".

Key points such as whether Mr Trump implied Mr Comey would keep his job if the "cloud" of the Russian Federation probe lifted, or whether the president asked Mr Comey to drop the investigation into fired NSA Advisor Michael Flynn, remain one man's word against the other.

"I will tell you I didn't say that", Trump said.

"No I didn't say that", Trump stated abruptly, taking questions at a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Rose Garden.

But the following morning he struck back in an early morning tweet: "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", he wrote - suggesting Mr Comey had committed perjury. It was a stunning accusation, suggesting that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director had lied to Congress, while under oath.

Ever since James Comey's written testimony came out on Wednesday, the only thing Donald Trump has repeatedly zeroed in on is feeling "vindicated" about Comey confirming that he personally wasn't under investigation.

Standing with the president of Romania, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner, Trump at last confirmed his commitment to the alliance's mutual defense pact, Article 5, uttering words he deliberately did not say when he spoke at NATO's gathering in Belgium last month.

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