‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes’ – Comey

Comey: called Trump's bluff by saying he hopes any tapes of their White House meeting are released

RELATED AUDIO: James Comey’s statement sure to stoke curiosity at upcoming Senate testimony, on Trump’s Beltway (Jun 8)

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“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” sacked FBI director James Comey said at one point in his live televised appearance before the US Senate Intelligence Committee today.

He added at another point, "Release all the tapes — I’m good with it.”

Mr Comey was referring to a May 13 tweet by Donald Trump about their January 27 dinner at the White House (‘James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’).

If there were tapes, it would certainly help to clear things up.*

As things stand, it’s a case of he said/she said.

Mr Comey has implied the president obstructed justice by implying he could keep his job if he remained “loyal,” and strongly implying that investigations into fired national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump campaign Russia ties be dropped.

Mr Trump – uncharacteristically silent on social media over the past 24 hours – has denied the allegations through a statement issued by his lawyer, and in earlier comments to media.

The pair were alone during the conversations. So absent a White House recording, the Senate committee (and the House committee and special counsel investigation to follow of the next few months) will have to rely on each man’s personal account (special counsel Robert Meuller will investigate more widely). In Mr Comey’s case, he says he took notes immediately after each meeting.

In his live testimony, Mr Comey repeated the assertions from his written testimony released by the White House yesterday.

There were also three developments.

  1. Mr Comey admitted the obvious – that he had leaked elements of what became his testimony to media, allowing a friend to read portions of it to the New York Times. The former FBI head said he did so in the hope it would spur the appointment of a special counsel, as indeed happened.

  2. There was sharper language from Mr Comey, who said it was “Lies, plain and simple” when presented with Trump White House comments that the FBI was in disarray under his leadership and that he had lost the support of agents.

  3. Mr Comey said Mr Trump defamed him when (according to official White House notes), he called the former FBI director a “nutjob” during a May 10 Oval Office meeting with  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. The allegation sets the stage for a possible civil action.

While Mr Trump's Twitter account was mute, Donald Trump Jr's was unusually active, retweeting commentary unfavourable to Mr Comey. The president's son also added his own take, posting "I'm pretty sure that Comey's testimony put his own 'character' on trial. Leaks, admitted weakness. Come on now."

* Late in the day, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway refused to say if any recording existed of the conversation, or not.

Read the full version of the statement from President Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz here.

See a full transcript of Comey's live testimony here.


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20 Comments & Questions

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No contest as to who is telling the truth.

One is a compulsive liar, bully, hypocrite and believes he is on a reality show.

Very satisfying to observe the leader of the US reflect and lead the decline of the most manipulative, hypocritical and morally corrupt nation in the world.

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What an utterly absurd comment about the USA. Have you ever been there? Have you ever met any Americans?

I thought you were going to say "and the other is the President of the USA".

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The better question would be - have you been there?

His description of the USA is 100% factually correct and even as recently as last week we had Trump visiting Saudi Arabia and selling them arms and sponsoring the cutting off of Qatar to mask how corrupt the Saudi's also are - they funded ISIS and many other terrorist organisations - FACT

Not sure how you can defend the USA being anything other than corrupt. Sure there are many Americans who are great and honest people but many are as twisted as Trump and that is why he got elected. Not sure how anyone can defend Trump

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Obviously you have never traveled through Africa, Indian sub continent or Asia

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That last sentence...Glass houses and stones.

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Sadly, I was awake last night so I managed to watch much of the testimony. Comey came across very well. Gave succinct, confident, consistent answers to questions.

The only point he looked slightly lost was when John McCain was questioning him. McCain appeared to be not quite there and seemed to confuse the Clinton email investigation/decision with the Russia one which is ongoing and crosses party lines (whether or not Russia attempted to influence the election result). I'm not sure why Comey didn't put him straight.

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From highlights, Comey did look confident. 

Trump has a great gut-intuition for politics at times.

But Comey is such an experienced and skilled DC operator that taking him on required a lot of homework. I suspect Trump didn't do any. Like George Bush and Hillary Clinton before him, he could end up losing a Comey fight.

Agree McCain was uncharacteristically befuddled. I note he subsequently had the good humour to tweet, “Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games."

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I watched it as well. McCain appeared to be confused. I think Comey didn't want to publically embarrass him. Comey was impressive all round.

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Man who helped prosecute the Gambino crime family, was US Attorney, Deputy Attorney General and then Director of the FBI who knows how to play political poker with a stone-cold killers gaze versus an oompa-loompa who played with (and lost vast sums of) daddy's money, is a textbook narcissist and is on his social media more than a teenager with anxiety problems.

Yup, pretty obvious who I'd believe in that case!

Still calling it - Mike Pence, 2018!

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Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

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He had nothing to give. There's no smoking gun, only a faked British/Russian document. Last year the Dems hated him, now they love him.
Nothing will change. I hope the former FBI director enjoys his retirement and I look forward to his book.

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Trump is an honest hard working President and I trust the truth will be with him.

Trump haters trust the FBI... The FBI is honest and truthful...

"Yeah Right"

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...meanwhile, the smartest people in the room wait for the FACTS to come out, then make decisions based on FACTS, rather than picking sides and towing party lines come hell or highwater...

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1) Comey admitted he was not ordered or directed to let the investigation go. Fact.
2) Comey admitted that he was pressured by Loretta Lynch to change the public narrative around the investigation into the Clinton email server. Fact.
3) Comey has said under oath on two occasions the investigation was not impeded by the White House. Fact.
4) Comey admitted under oath that he leaked a confidential briefing to the press. This is a felony offence!

Who gives a rats what he says from here on in, he is as crooked as the rest of them, including Trump.

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Lance, facts are facts. Perhaps Comey should take his adult colouring book and his snuggy and go off to his safe-space. I just love how less than two months ago the blue team were calling for his head because he apparently cost Hillary the election, now he is their saint.

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Confidential Briefing? He leaked his own personal statement regarding the presence of a tape/recording, that wasn't confidential.

Also, unsure where you got the Loretta Lynch line from...

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Are you kidding? Did you watch the hearing or just get your facts from the Washington Post?

Comey testified that Lynch asked him to refer to the ongoing investigation as "the matter" not an investigation (which it was). Her meeting the spouse of an ongoing investigation was also a catalyst for him having to change the shape of the investigation and make press releases. Interference much?

Re the leaks, Marc Kasowitz is filing a complaint with the DOJ so I guess we will see on that one.

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A very useful session which cleared President Trump of scurrilous accusations by his enemies (he was not under investigation for "Russian links") and by revealing the source of leaks of classified information (Comey himself ).
Well past time for those opposed to the President,including Obama, to respect the US Constitution and stop trying to undermine the duly elected President.

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In fairness, they don't need to do anything to undermine the president. The president's use of Twitter when juxtaposed with statements from his PR people does that well enough.

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