It was in that context that President Trump sent his tweet, hinting that there were tapes of the conversation.
Appearing before Congress earlier this month, James Comey confirmed he had been asked by the president to “let go” any possible prosecution of Mike Flynn for lying to federal agents about a conversation with the Russian ambassador.
James Comey said he was also asked by the president in no uncertain terms to give assurances that he would be loyal.
When asked whether he thought the conversation had been recorded, James Comey replied: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
Former FBI chief James Comey will testify before Congress on June 8.
James Comey is expected to say that President Donald Trump wanted a “patronage relationship” and asked for his “loyalty”.
According to his opening statement, James Comey will also testify the president asked him to drop an inquiry into fired National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
The former FBI chief says President Trump called the Russian probe “a cloud” over him.
James Comey also says he had told Donald Trump three times he was not under scrutiny, confirming the president’s account.
Reacting to the prepared testimony on June 7, President Trump’s private legal counsel on the Russia inquiry, Marc Kasowitz, said the president was “pleased” James Comey had confirmed he was not in investigators’ crosshairs.
“The president feels completely and totally vindicated,” Donald Trump’s lawyer said.
Two national security officials, NSA Director Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, earlier testified to senators that they never felt pressured by the White House to do anything illegal.
However in today’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, James Comey will detail how President Trump made him uncomfortable during a series of encounters leading up to the FBI director’s firing on May 9.
It is one of several congressional panels that, along with the Justice Department, is investigating US intelligence assessments that Russian hackers meddled in last November’s presidential election in an effort to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
The inquiries are also investigating whether any Trump campaign officials colluded with the alleged Kremlin plot, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
According to seven pages of prepared testimony, James Comey will say his first meeting with President Trump occurred on January 6 in a conference room at Trump Tower, where Comey briefed him alone on “salacious and unverified” allegations about him.
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A dossier compiled by a former British intelligence official had claimed the Russian security services possessed compromising material on Donald Trump, including that he had been recorded consorting with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel.
James Comey’s says the president “expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them” during a subsequent meeting.
That denial came in a one-to-one dinner on January 27 at the White House, James Comey will say, adding that he had a “very awkward conversation” with the president that evening.
Donald Trump asked the FBI director during the discussion in the Green Room whether he wanted to stay in his job, James Comey will testify.
He will say he found this “strange” because President Trump had already told him twice in earlier conversations that he hoped he would not step down.
James Comey will testify the question “concerned me greatly” because he felt the dinner was an effort to “create some sort of patronage relationship”.
The former FBI director will say: “A few moments later, the president said, <<I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.>>
“I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence.”
In testimony, James Comey will detail his next encounter with President Trump, during a meeting attended by intelligence chiefs at the White House on February 14.
FBI director James Comey and NSA chief Admiral Mike Rogers are set to testify before Congress about possible links between Russia and President Donald Trump’s election campaign.
The two intelligence chiefs will also address Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that he was wiretapped by President Barack Obama.
James Comey and Mike Rogers will give evidence at a rare open hearing of the congressional intelligence committee.
President Trump has called the investigation a “total witch hunt”.
Russia denies attempting to influence the US presidential election.
Two months ago, US intelligence agencies said Kremlin-backed hackers had broken into the email accounts of senior Democrats and released embarrassing ones in order to help Donald Trump defeat rival Hillary Clinton.
However, Adam Schiff said the material he had seen offers circumstantial evidence that US citizens collaborated with Russians to influence the vote.
He said: “There was circumstantial evidence of collusion; there is direct evidence, I think, of deception.
“There’s certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation.”
Two senior officials in the Trump administration have been caught up in the allegations – former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.
Michael Flynn was fired last month after he misled the White House about his conversations with the Russian ambassador before he was appointed national security adviser.
He allegedly discussed US sanctions with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy.
Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions was accused by Democrats of lying under oath during his confirmation hearing in January.
Jeff Sessions said he had “no communications with the Russians”, but it later emerged that he had met Sergei Kislyak during the campaign.
He denied any wrongdoing, but removed himself from an FBI inquiry into Russia’s alleged interference in the election.
March 20 hearing is also expected to address Donald Trump’s claims that the Obama administration wiretapped his phone at Trump Tower in New York during the campaign.
President Trump has provided no evidence, and senior Republican and Democratic officials have dismissed the idea. Barack Obama’s spokesman dismissed the claims.
Devin Nunes told Fox News on March 19 that a review of justice department documents provided on March 17 indicated there was no such wiretap.
Several Republicans have said President Trump should apologize if he cannot substantiate his claims.
Observers say both allegations have diverted attention from the Trump administration’s other policies and progress with political appointments.
Critics say Donald Trump’s claim that Barack Obama wiretapped him has damaged the US credibility, and relations with its allies.
Last week, President Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer repeated claims by a Fox News analyst that the UK’s GCHQ spy agency had helped Barack Obama wiretap Donald Trump.
The claims angered the UK government, and GCHQ rejected the allegations as “utterly ridiculous”.
Meanwhile, President Trump and some Republicans have called for an investigation into intelligence leaks, including the leak that revealed details of Michael Flynn’s phone calls to the Russian ambassador.
In this case, considering the target is allegedly Trump Tower in New York – which would definitely have involved American citizens – this would have been hard to argue.
James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence under President Obama, has categorically denied a FISA court order existed.
Leading Democrats have called on the White House to produce evidence to support Donald Trump’s claim.
Meanwhile, the White House has called on Congress to investigate whether the Obama administration had abused its powers.
Both Congress and the FBI are currently investigating contacts between the Trump election campaign and Russian officials, after US intelligence agencies assessed that Russia had interfered with the election to help Donald Trump win against his Hillary Clinton.
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