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Trump claims vindication on Twitter: 'Comey is a leaker'

Catch Team | Updated on: 9 June 2017, 19:37 IST
(PTI photo)

After an unusual day of silence, US President Donald Trump, known to take to Twitter to attack his baiters, responded to former FBI chief James Comey's charges that he asked him to “lift the cloud”.

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump wrote on Twitter, in response to the serious allegations in Comey's sworn testimony.

Trump has been unhappy over how the intelligence community went public that the President and his close aides, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, were under investigation about Russian interference in the US Presidential elections.

In a subsequent tweet, Trump congratulated friendly conservative media.

“Great reporting by @foxandfriends and so many others. Thank you!” he tweeted.

Trump was right once

In the course of the testimony, Comey proved Trump was right in one instance, when the former FBI chief accepted he had been the person leaking the information, as the President had accused him of doing.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to a news report. “I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” he told the Committee according to reports.

'Lift the cloud'

Comey's charges against Trump are far more serious; in fact, the most damning so far. As Roger Cohen wrote in his New York Times article: “Somebody’s lying. I think we know who it is. People have habits; to lie is one of Donald Trump's.”

Through his conversations with the former FBI chief, recorded in memos and now turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller III, Trump may have exposed himself to serious charges of obstruction of justice.

Recalling a conversation in March, Comey said in his testimony: “He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to 'lift the cloud'.”

Comey said Trump claimed that 'the cloud' was getting in the way of his ability to do his job.

Details of one-on-one conversations

In his testimony to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Comey was on a roll. Comey detailed all the nine one-on-one conversations he had with Trump, including six on the phone.

Allegations of Russian intervention in the US Presidential polls has been one of the most embarrassing moments for the mighty intelligence community.

The former FBI chief, who started writing memos of all his conversations with President Trump, said that in a February 14 meeting at the Oval Office, Trump asked him to let former NSA Michael Flynn off the hook. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,” is what Trump told Comey, according to the latte.

Flynn, a Trump favourite, is being investigated for his conversations with the Russians.

In a 30 March phone call, Comey recalls Trump telling him “if there were some 'satellite' associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn't done anything wrong, and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren't investigating him.”

First published: 9 June 2017, 19:37 IST