Trump vs. Comey: Lawmakers turn up heat on president about contradictory claims

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor
Trump at a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the White House on June 9. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump’s claims contradicting former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about their conversations faced fresh scrutiny Sunday, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle putting pressure on the commander in chief to offer proof of his charges.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that she has no reason not to believe Comey.

“Well, at this point, I believe the FBI director,” Feinstein said. “I know him the best. I have observed him the longest. I know he has his own brand of integrity.”

Feinstein said she disagreed with his decisions during the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and “let him know that monosyllabically.”

“But in this kind of thing, he’s not going to lie,” she said about Comey’s testimony. “It’s just not in him to do this.”

Comey testified to the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday that Trump had told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

On Friday, Trump denied ever saying that to Comey.

“I didn’t say that,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House Rose Garden. “I didn’t say that. I mean, I will tell you, I didn’t say that.”

Trump said he would be willing to testify under oath to his account after previously hinting there were secret tapes of their conversations.

The president added that he would soon have an answer on whether or not those recordings existed.

“I’ll tell you something about that maybe in the very near future,” Trump said when asked if there are any recordings of his conversations with Comey.

Trump was asked again later in the press conference about the potential for recordings.

“When will you tell us about the recordings?” asked ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

“Over a very short period of time.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said those comments do not help his case.

“This is an issue that the president should have cleared up in his press conference,” Collins said on CNN. “He should give a straight yes or no answer [to] the question of whether or not the tapes exist. And he should voluntarily turn them over not only to the Senate intelligence committee but to the special counsel.”

Both Collins and Feinstein said they would support the issuing of a subpoena to gain access to any recordings of Trump and Comey.

In a letter to the intelligence committee’s chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Feinstein went further, urging members to investigate “all matters related to obstruction of justice.”

“I don’t know whether it’s obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said on CNN. “And I don’t intend to draw any conclusions until investigations are finished.”

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