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Comey to testify on Trump's demand for loyalty

Comey to testify on Trump's demand for loyalty

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia will emphasize at Thursday's committee hearing that the American people need to realize that what happened was that a president asked an FBI director to drop an ongoing investigation into a former national security adviser.

But his opening statement to the committee has already been released to the public.

Did the President's request for "loyalty", your impression that the one-on-one dinner on January 27th was "at least in part" an effort to create some sort of patronage relationship, or his March 30th phone call asking what you could do to "lift the cloud" of the Russian Federation investigation in any way alter your approach or the FBI's investigation into General Flynn, or the broader investigation into Russian Federation and possible links to the campaign? On May 12, press secretary Sean Spicer rejected the notion that Trump ever asked Comey to pledge loyalty, and on May 18 Trump himself said he never urged Comey to back off the investigation into Flynn.

We already know some of what Comey is going to say, since his prepared remarks were released yesterday.

After Comey was sacked, Trump denied news reports that he sought to get the FBI to drop the investigation.

He then said, 'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.

The Senate Intelligence Committee posted Comey's explosive seven-page statement on its website Wednesday afternoon, ending speculation about what Comey would say to the panel on Thursday.

Comey has not spoken publicly since he was abruptly fired by Trump on May 9.

Tensions are high in Washington DC as former FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding what he deemed a series of "inappropriate" and "very concerning" one-on-one conversations with President Donald Trump.

Comey stays behind in a conference room to speak privately with Trump after intelligence officials brief the president-elect in his NY headquarters about explosive findings that the Russians tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. He's also expected to confirm whether or not Trump tried to dissuade him from investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who allegedly lied to the White House about meeting with Russian officials before the president took office.

"I repeatedly told him I did intend to stay and serve out the remaining six years of my term". Evergreen Partners, a strategic communications firm, has said it will be making popcorn and has implemented a rule that none of their employees may discuss client work while James Comey is speaking. "Maybe if I were stronger I would have". "I have been very loyal to you, very loyal", Comey says Trump told him, adding cryptically: "We had that thing you know".

James Comey's testimony is scheduled to end at 1 p.m. (EST).

Comey revealed new details of the investigation, repeating his assertion that Clinton had been extremely careless in her handling of classified email but also suggesting she might not have fully grasped the classification marking system. "I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in", Comey said.

This makes Comey uncomfortable, because it feels like Trump is creating a "patronage" situation in which Comey will owe Trump for his job. "I remember saying, "I agree, [Flynn] is a good guy" as a way of saying, I'm not agreeing with what he asked me to do". Trump seemed particularly concerned about the alleged piss tape and denied that he had been "involved with hookers in Russian Federation".

ABC News has learned that Trump is watching Comey's hearing and testimony with his legal team and senior advisers from the president's personal dining room near the Oval Office in the White House. They've also questioned why Comey did not raise his concerns about Trump publicly or resign.

Under pressure, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation.

Warner said any interference by the president or White House into investigations about the Russian meddling in the election would be appalling.

"During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them".

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