Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he believed President Donald Trump ordered him to drop the probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn when they spoke in February.
In his prepared testimony, Comey recalled that, at that Oval Office meeting, the president said: "I hope you can see your way clear to
"I took it as a direction," Comey told the Senate hearing Thursday. "I mean, this is a president of the United States with me alone saying, 'I hope this.' I took it
Responding to a question from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who asked if he considered it
Comey did not drop the investigation into Flynn. Trump fired him on May 9.
Comey's testimony on Thursday, based largely on written records he made after one-on-one conversations with Trump from January to April, casts light on Trump's behavior with the former FBI director and the president's possible motives for firing Comey. Trump abruptly ousted Comey last month amid an FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Trump's outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz, said in a statement Wednesday that the president feels "completely and totally vindicated" and "is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda." And Kasowitz highlighted that Comey says he told Trump that the president was not personally under investigation.