GOP senators to Comey: Why didn't you take stronger action?

GOP senators hit James Comey on Thursday about a key part of his interactions with President Donald Trump: they asked why he did not take more action after what Comey understood as an order from the president to drop a probe into Michael Flynn.

In his prepared testimony, Comey recalled that, at a February Oval Office meeting, the president said of the former national security advisor: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." Comey said he "took it as a direction."

Asked by Sen. Marco Rubio at Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing whether he interpreted the president's statements as an order to drop the investigation, Comey replied that yes, he did.

Senators jumped on that, pressing Comey about why he did not take more action after the request, which the former FBI director characterized as disturbing him.

"Why didn't you stop and say, 'Mr. President, this is wrong?'" Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Comey.

He replied that he was "stunned" by the request and should have done more in hindsight.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri also questioned why Comey "continued to show up to work" after Trump's statement.

The former FBI chief said "at some point" he would have briefed the team in charge of the case.