U.S. President Donald Trump fired back at his former FBI director on Friday, accusing James Comey of leaking information.
"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" Trump tweeted.
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
Trump broke his silence on Comey's testimony with a single tweet that echoed the points made by his private lawyer after Comey's appearance: The Republican president himself was not under investigation, and Comey gave an account of his conversation with him to a lawyer friend who shared it with a news outlet.
Trump stopped short of saying that Comey lied under oath at the hearing, which occurred a month after Trump fired him on May 9.
At a Thursday congressional hearing, Comey told lawmakers the Trump administration had lied and defamed him and the FBI after the president dismissed him. Comey accused Trump of firing him to try to undermine the bureau's investigation into possible collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign team and Russia.
During more than two hours of testimony, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he believed Trump had directed him to drop an FBI probe into the Republican president's former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of the broader Russia investigation.
Comey nevertheless did not make any major new revelations about alleged links between Trump or his associates and Russia, an issue that has dogged the president's first months in office and distracted from his policy goals such as overhauling the U.S. healthcare system and making tax cuts.
After Trump fired Comey, the administration gave differing reasons for his dismissal. Trump later contradicted his own staff and acknowledged on May 11 he fired Comey because of the Russia probe.
Trump critics say that any efforts by the president to hinder an FBI probe could amount to obstruction of justice. Such an offense potentially could lead to Trump being impeached by Congress, although the Republicans who control the Senate and House of Representatives have shown little appetite for such a move.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now