President Donald Trump proclaimed himself totally and completely “vindicated” by the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.
In an early-morning Tweet, Trump wrote “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
It was the President’s first comment regarding Comey’s testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Rather uncharacteristically, Trump has not said anything else about Comey’s allegations.
In calling Comey a “leaker,” Trump was referring to Comey’s leak of his private memos to the media about their private meetings in hopes of appointing a special counsel to investigate the matter.
Two days after he was fired, The New York Times ran with a story sourced by the memos – in which Trump pressures Comey for his “loyalty.”
Comey testified that when Trump tweeted that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” that’s when he decieded to leak his memos to the press.
The President will be holding a press conference during his meeting with the Romanian president on Friday and is expected to address the allegations.
The White House has vigorously denied there was any pressure exerted on Comey to drop the Russia investigation, pointing to specific phrasing; Comey testified that Trump said: “I hope you can let this go,” rather than making a direct order.
Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said minutes after Thursday’s hearing that Comey was wrong to make “unauthorized disclosures” of privileged communications, but that the president feels “vindicated” after Comey testified that Trump was not under any FBI investigation.
“The president also never told Mr. Comey, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,’ in form or substance,” Kasowitz told reporters.
Until Friday morning’s tweet at 6:10 a.m. Eastern Time, Trump had not posted on Twitter for almost two days. If he had waited another three minutes, it would have been the longest no-tweet stretch since announcing his candidacy.