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'Shining city on a hill' — Read why Comey believes Russia interfered

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 8, 2017.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 8, 2017.

Former FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Comey explained to Sen. Joe Manchin why he believes Russia intervenes in U.S. affairs.

What follows is a transcription of their conversation:

MANCHIN: Did the president ever show any concern or interest or curiosity about what the Russians were doing?

COMEY: Thank you, senator. As I said earlier, I don't remember any conversations with the president about the Russia election interference.

MANCHIN: Did he ever ask you any questions concerning this?

COMEY: There was an initial briefing of our findings and I think there was conversation there. I don't remember it exactly, where he asked questions about what we had found, and what our sources were, and what our confidence level was. After that, I don't remember anything.

The reason this is such a big deal is we have this big messy wonderful country where we fight with each other all the time, but nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for except other Americans. And that's wonderful and often painful. But we're talking about a foreign government using technical intrusion and lots of other methods tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal. And people need to recognize it. It's not about Republicans or Democrats. They're coming after America, which I hope we all love equally. They want to undermine our credibility in the face of the world. They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them, and so they're going to try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible.

That's what this is about. They will be back, because we remain, as difficult as we can be with each other, we remain that shining city on the hill, and they don't like it.

MANCHIN: This is extremely important, it's extremely dangerous what we're dealing with, and it's needed is what you're saying.

COMEY: Yes, sir.