"Total and complete vindication" - Trump responds to Comey testimony

The former FBI director outlined his interactions with President Trump during a Senate testimony yesterday

"Total and complete vindication" - Trump responds to Comey testimony

Picture by: Chris Kleponis/DPA/PA Images

Donald Trump says he has received "total and complete vindication" after former FBI director James Comey's Senate testimony yesterday.

It follows Mr Comey's lengthy statement and subsequent questioning by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee this week.

He confirmed President Trump's suggestion that the president himself was not under investigation as part of the bureau's probe into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign during last year's election.

However, Mr Comey's testimony also supported many of the details reported by US media about the meetings between the two men.

On the subject of his decision to document his first meeting with the then president-elect, Mr Comey observed: "I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I found it really important to document." 

He said that he believes the ongoing Russia investigation was a reason for his firing last month, noting: "I've seen the president say so".

He also confirmed that he asked a friend to share details of a memo - detailing one of his meetings with Mr Trump - with a reporter so that it "might prompt appointment of a special counsel".

In his first tweet acknowledging yesterday's events, Trump highlighted Mr Comey's comments about the leaked memo:

Mr Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, yesterday suggested that Mr Comey may face prosecution for leaking the information.

He argued: "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.

"We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether [this leak] should be investigated along with all those others being investigated."

There was a mixed political response to Mr Comey's remarks and revelations.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker argued: "Comey’s testimony lays out a strong case that [President Trump] has obstructed justice & violated the trust of the American people.

"Obstruction of justice does not require proof that justice was obstructed — only that a person endeavored to influence or impede justice."

In comments quoted by the LA Times, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan said: “I’m not going to prejudge any of this [...] Let these investigations go where the facts take them and then let’s make some judgments.”