Via the Washington Post:
“Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me — and, more importantly, the FBI — by saying the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader,” Comey said. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”And:
“I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting,” Comey said. “It led me to believe that I gotta write it down, and I gotta write it down in a detailed way."That last sentence came as a response to this question from Senator Warner:
I want to go through a number of the meetings that you referenced in your testimony, and let's start with the January 6th meeting in Trump Tower, where you went up with a series of officials to brief the President-elect on the Russia investigation. My understanding is you remained afterwards to brief him, on again, "Some personally sensitive aspects of the information you relayed." Now you said after that briefing you felt compelled to document that conversation that you actually started documenting it as soon as you got into the car.January 6 was two weeks before Trump's inauguration. Comey didn't trust Trump not to lie two weeks before Donald raised his tiny hand and took the Oath of Office.
How did Donald tweet respond this morning?
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
He's evidently talking about Comey memo. It came up in his testimony when he was questioned by Senator Collins of Maine:
COLLINS: Okay. You mentioned that from your very first meeting with the president, you decided to write a memo memorializing the conversation. What was it about that very first meeting that made you write a memo when you have not done that with two previous presidents?And Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri:
COMEY: As I said, a combination of things. A gut feeling is an important overlay, but the circumstances, that I was alone, the subject matter and the nature of the person I was interacting with and my read of that person. Yeah, and really just gut feel, laying on top of all of that, that this is going to be important to protect this organization, that I make records of this.
COLLINS: Finally, did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the department of justice?
COLLINS: And to whom did you show copies?
COMEY: I asked — the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there's not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it.
BLUNT: One, I thought the March 30th, very interesting, you said, well, even though you don't want — you may not want — that was 27th, where he said, why don't you look into that more? You said, you may not want that because we couldn't say with — we couldn't answer the question about you being a target of the investigation. You didn't seem to be answering that question anyhow. Senator Rubio pointed out the one unanswered, unleaked question seems to have been that. In this whole period of time. You said something earlier and I don't want to fail to follow up on, you said after dismissed, you gave information to a friend so that friend could get that information into the public media.Trump, again dishonestly, is accusing Comey of being a leaker. But look closer at the timeline. This was after Comey was fired, after he evidently turned over all of the classified government files that he had in his possession ("I don't have any of them anymore.")
BLUNT: What kind of information was that? What kind of information did you give to a friend?
COMEY: That the — the Flynn conversation. The president had asked me to let the Flynn — forgetting my exact own words. But the conversation in the Oval Office.
BLUNT: So you didn't consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document. You considered it to be, somehow, your own personal document that you could share to the media as you wanted through a friend?
COMEY: Correct. I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out.
BLUNT: Were all your memos that you recorded on classified or other memos that might be yours as a private citizen?
COMEY: I'm not following the question.
BLUNT: You said you used classified —
COMEY: Not the classified documents. Unclassified. I don't have any of them anymore. I gave them to the special counsel. My view was that the content of those unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.
BLUNT: So why didn't you give those to somebody yourself rather than give them through a third party?
COMEY: Because I was weary the media was camping at the end of my driveway at that point. I was actually going out of town with my wife to hide. I worried it would be feeding seagulls at the beach. If it was I who gave it to the media. I asked my friend, make sure this gets out.
Who to believe? Someone who has lied repeatedly to the American people or, basically, anyone else on the planet?