Trump denies seeking Comey 'loyalty,' dodges tapes question

Trump's assertion came after he branded Comey as a "leaker" and claimed "total and complete vindication" after ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director's testimony before a Senate Committee.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: He did tell President Trump several times that he wasn't specifically under investigation.

At a White House press conference last month, a reporter asked Donald Trump, "Did you at any time urge former FBI Director James Comey in any way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn?".

When asked about Comey's claim about the pledge of loyalty, Trump said, "I'm not going to say, I want you to pledge allegiance". That's what I have been focused on, but yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction.

QUESTION: So he lied about that?

TRUMP: Remember how nice you used to be before I ran? "No, I didn't say that, and I didn't say the other".

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The president also denied asking Comey for a pledge of loyalty.

Trump stands alone in that assertion; all US intelligence agencies, Comey, and even many Republicans, agree Russians did meddle in the election.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm not hinting anything.

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey said at the hearing.

"Why can't you say now if there are tapes, sir?"

But there is no known evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and the USA, and President Donald Trump has dismissed the story as "fake news". "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'" Trump said on Twitter.

The White House also highlighted the fact Mr Comey stopped short of accusing Mr Trump of obstructing justice - a potentially impeachable offence.

The Secret Service, responding to a freedom of information request submitted by The Wall Street Journal, said it does not have any audio copies or transcripts of any tapes recorded within the White House.

The US president was asked by a journalist if he would be willing to give his version of events under oath.

Trump insisted on June 9 that he is being truthful and he is "100 percent" willing to testify under oath. He also called Comey a "leaker", a day after the hearing. I mean think of it. Legal experts and pundits say that, along with the firing of Comey itself, could amount to obstruction of justice.

Kasowitz charged in return that Comey had leaked notes of "privileged communications" with the president by asking a friend to share those notes with reporters in an attempt to force the appointment of a special counsel to carry on the Russian Federation probe.

Meanwhile, fellow Republicans have pressed Mr Trump to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with Mr Comey and provide them to Congress if he does, or possibly face a subpoena.

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