President Donald Trump
has accused ousted FBI chief James Comey of cowardice by leaking more classified information “than anyone ever thought possible”
“I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible,” Trump wrote in a tweet on Sunday. “Totally illegal? Very ‘cowardly!'”
Trump made the comments days after the former FBI director testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, publicly accusing the president of seeking to derail the Russian probe.
During his sworn testimony on Thursday, Comey said he had asked a “friend,” identified as a Columbia University law professor, to release to the press a memo of his conversations with Trump.
Comey said he had hoped the releasing of the memo would pave the way for the appointment of a special counsel to handle the probe into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, a ploy that ultimately proved successful.
According to the leaked memo, Trump pressured Comey to be loyal to him during a private dinner after the January 20 inauguration.
“My common sense told me, he’s looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job,’ Comey said at the hearing. “And that the dinner was an effort to build a relationship — and in fact, he asked specifically of loyalty — in the context of asking me to stay.”
Comey branded Trump a liar and said the president urged him to drop the investigation into the former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned earlier this year over his contacts with Russian diplomats.
Trump has strongly rejected the allegations.
US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, June 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
of the peculiar conversation had first been reported by The New York Times
, creating anticipation for Comey’s testimony this week.
Comey also told the senators that he was confused as to why he had been fired during an ongoing FBI investigation.
The former FBI director said Russia did in fact interfere with the 2016 presidential election in a “sophisticated” way, and the issue was beyond partisan politics
Moscow has denied any interference in the election, while Trump has shrugged off intelligence reports that the alleged meddling gave his campaign a boost.