President Donald Trump just delivered a press conference in which he responded to James Comey’s Capitol Hill testimony for the first time.
Trump spoke alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohanni at a press conference, and although the purpose of the press conference was not to respond to James Comey’s Senate testimony, this is primarily what Trump was asked about.
During his press conference, Trump accused James Comey of perjury, saying that many of Comey’s statements to the Senate were not true.
“I didn’t say that…I will tell you, I didn’t say that,” Trump said, referring to asking for Comey’s loyalty. “And there’d be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everybody that I’ve read today, but I did not say that.”
When asked if he is willing to say this under oath, Trump responded, “100 percent.” The president also dismissively called Comey a “leaker,” referencing Comey’s statement that he leaked a memo to the media in order to prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Trump had previously hinted that there might be tapes of his conversations with James Comey, but when asked about this, he would not give a direct answer, saying, “I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future.” Later, when a reporter asked Trump why he was dodging the question, Trump told the reporter that he’s going to be disappointed with the answer.
This was Trump’s first time responding to the Comey testimony outside of Twitter. Early on Friday morning, the president posted one tweet in which he called Comey a leaker and said that he had been completely vindicated, presumably preferring to the fact that Comey confirmed that he told Trump that he was not personally under investigation.
Going into Comey’s testimony on Thursday, there were some reports that Trump would be watching live and would be tweeting his responses in real time. Instead, the complete opposite happened: Trump let all of Thursday go by without referencing James Comey a single time, although his lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, did deliver a combative statement accusing Comey of being a liar and suggesting that he should be investigated for leaking his memo.
“We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated,” Kasowitz said.
Marc Kasowitz also denied that Trump asked Comey for his loyalty.
“The President also never told Mr. Comey, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty’ in form or substance,” Kasowitz said.