Donald Trump on Friday had choice words for James Comey, calling him a “leaker” on Twitter, the day after the former FBI chief testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and accused the president of lying.
“WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted.
Comey told the committee Thursday that Trump lied and attempted to stop the bureau’s investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication,” the president’s tweet also stated.
Friday’s tweet was the first since Thursday’s hearing. Trump’s aides kept the president off Twitter during Comey’s testimony.
Trump is not under investigation by the FBI, according to reports, and Comey did not testify to anything regarding whether the president’s campaign staff was working with Russia to sway the 2016 election. Trump and Russian officials have denied colluding to interfere with the polls.
What Comey did allege was that Trump defamed and pressured him during a series of meetings to nix the Flynn investigation. Comey said he took notes of the meetings with the president because he figured Trump would likely lie about the details.
Comey shared the notes with media. That, Trump and his attorney say, constitutes a breach. According to Marc Kassovitz, the information was privileged, and Comey he may have committed perjury during his testimony.
Comey said he shared his notes to spark an investigation into whether the president tried to end the Flynn probe. His plan worked, as former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel after Comey was fired on May 9.
Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, told Reuters that the president’s firing of Comey was historic and could have been a way to end the investigation of Michael Flynn.
The Senate Committee pulled no punches in its line of questioning, asking Comey if the president obstructed justice, but Comey declined to comment. He said he would leave it up to Mueller to decide if Trump broke the law.
Meanwhile, Trump is also being accused of flip-flopping on his reason for Comey’s firing. The ex-FBI chief said the president’s initial reason was that he was soft last year in how he dealt with the Hillary Clinton email situation. As months passed, however, Comey said he realized he was fired “in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.”
Comey’s testimony also revisits the president’s knowledge that Michael Flynn was under investigation by the FBI before Trump took office.
Trump’s transition team learned Flynn was being investigated for secretly accepting money from foreign governments. Trump had received previous warnings from Barack Obama about giving Flynn access to the country’s intelligence secrets. The president hired him anyway.
Flynn was President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years and was fired in 2014. He served under Trump for less than a month before resigning amid allegations that he misled the vice president about a discussion he had with a Russian ambassador to the United States.
Trump allegedly injected himself into the Flynn scandal after he fired him. It is when detractors say he began pressuring Comey to close the book on Russia.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe also shed light on the Russia situation. He suggested during a congressional hearing last month that Trump associates were, in fact, suspected of working with Russia to tilt the election. Several subpoenas have been issued in the case so far. The New York Times reported that one subpoena demands certain businesses turn over all records, research, contracts, bank statements, and other communications they had with a business Flynn started after the three-star General was fired.
[Featured Image by Jim Lo Scalzo/Getty Images]