(CNN/AP) — In the first hour of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill about the nature and details of his relationship with President Donald Trump, he called the president a “liar” twice.
In his opening remarks, Comey flashed anger at Trump’s characterization of him as unpopular among the rank and file of the FBI as well as the idea that the bureau was disorganized and chaotic.
“Those were lies. Plain and simple,” Comey said flatly.
Then, when asked by Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) why he felt the need to document his meetings with Trump when he didn’t do the same with past presidents, Comey responded: “I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”
In the second hour of the hearings and while under questioning from Maine Sen. Angus King (I), Comey directly disputed three more claims by Trump:
1. That Comey had sought the Feb. 14 meeting with Trump to ask to stay on as FBI director
2. That Comey ever reached out to Trump via phone
3. That Trump’s “No, no. Next question” assertion about whether he asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation was true
The White House has fired back. A White House spokeswoman says President Donald Trump is “not a liar.”
The White House had claimed after Comey’s May 9 dismissal that he had lost the confidence of rank-and-file FBI agents.
Trump claimed separately in a television interview that the FBI was “in turmoil” and hadn’t recovered.
Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed Comey’s testimony when asked about it during an off-camera briefing at the White House, saying “I can definitely say the president’s not a liar.”
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