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TRUMP’S LAWYER GIVES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO JAMES COMEY TESTIMONY

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President Trump’s outside lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, flat-out denied on Thursday that the president ever asked or pressured Comey to drop the investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, accusing Comey of leaking privileged information to the press.

Kasowitz’ claim came in response to fired FBI director James Comey’s testimony earlier in the day before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In a statement he read to reporters at the National Press Club, Kasowitz said, “the president never, in form, or substance, directed or suggested, that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey quote, let Flynn go, close quote. As the president publicly stated the next day, he did say to Mr. Comey, quote, General Flynn is a good guy. He has been through a lot, close quote, and also, quote, asked how General Flynn is doing, close quote. Admiral Rogers testified today that the president never, quote, directed him to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate, close quote, and never, never, quote pressured him to do so, close quote.”

“The president also never told Mr. Comey, ‘I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,'” Kasowitz continued. “He never said it in form and he never said it in substance. Of course, the office of the president is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving the administration. And from before this president took office until this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications.”

Kasowitz claimed the New York Times published stories on Comey memos memorializing conversations with the president before Mr. Trump tweeted the Comey should hope there are no tapes of their conversations. But Mr. Trump’s first tweets on such tapes appeared on May 12, and the first NYT story revealing Comey’s memo ran May 16.

Kasowitz, who took no questions, did not discuss any repercussions the president might be considering against Comey. Kasowitz reiterated a statement he released Wednesday, in which he said the president felt “vindicated” by Comey’s written testimony, which confirmed the president was not personally under investigation.

The White House has referred all Russia-related questions to Kasowitz, as the president’s outside counsel.

Comey on Thursday said that the president, on February 14, told the then-FBI chief that he hoped he could find a way to not investigate National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a comment Comey saw as a direction from the president.

Comey said Mr. Trump was not accurate when he on May 18 denied ever asking Comey to back off on the FBI investigation into Flynn.

“I don’t believe it is,” Comey said, referring to the accuracy of the president’s statement.

Mr. Trump, in a May 18 joint press conference with the Colombian president, flat out denied that he ever asked Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, as the media recently had reported at the time. “No, no, next question,” Mr. Trump said at the time.

Despite Comey’s testimony, the White House maintains the president is not a liar.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in an off-camera press briefing that took place during Comey’s testimony, said the president is “not a liar.”

“I can definitively say the president’s not a liar,” Sanders said in response to a reporter’s question. “I think it’s frankly insulting that that question would be asked.”


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