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Trump accuses Comey of lying under oath in fiery news conference

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump forcefully denies pieces of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony.
  • He said the testimony showed no "collusion" with Russia or "obstruction" of an investigation.
  • Trump said he would tell his side of the story to Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump: I didn't ask Comey to pledge allegiance to me

President Donald Trump on Friday forcefully accused former FBI Director James Comey of lying under oath in a series of defiant responses.

The president said he would "be glad" to state his case to Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing a broad investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Trump abruptly fired Comey last month as he oversaw that FBI investigation, prompting questions about whether he tried to impede the probe.

"Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker," Trump said of Comey at a White House news conference, saying he wants to "get back to running our great country."

Trump and his surrogates have sought to undermine Comey's credibility on some assertions, while pointing to other parts of Comey's testimony as evidence that the president has engaged in no wrongdoing.

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik | AP

Trump said he would "100 percent" speak under oath to refute Comey's dramatic Thursday testimony.

In his explosive Senate testimony, the former FBI chief said that Trump asked him for loyalty — something an FBI director does not owe a president — and made a statement that he understood as a request to "drop" a probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Comey said he believes that Trump fired him because of the Russia investigation and admitted to being the source of news reports about his conversations with the president.

Comey also addressed Trump's suggestion that the president recorded their conversations, saying, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

In one heated exchange with ABC News' Jonathan Karl — whom he called on after asking whether to choose "one of the killer networks that treat me so badly" — Trump denied various points of Comey's testimony.

He also claimed that he "hardly" knows Comey. The former FBI director said the pair had nine one-on-one conversations from January to April, which Comey documented because he thought Trump might "lie" about them.

Here's the exchange with Karl, in which Trump gave sometimes rambling, disjointed responses:

Karl: Mr. President, I want to get back to James Comey's testimony. You suggested he didn't tell the truth in everything he said. He did say under oath that you told him to let the [former national security advisor Michael] Flynn — you said you hoped the Flynn investigation he could let go

Trump: I didn't say that.

Karl: So he lied about that?

Trump: Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I will tell you I didn't say that.

Karl: And did he ask you to pledge his loyalty —

Trump: And there'd be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everybody that I've read today. But, I did not say that.

Karl: And did he ask for a pledge of loyalty from you? That's another thing he said.

Trump: No, he did not.

Karl: So, he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of those events?

Trump: One hundred percent. I didn't say under oath. I hardly know the man. I'm not going to say, 'I want you to pledge allegiance.' Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? I mean, think of it. It doesn't make sense. No, I didn't say that. No, I didn't say the other.

Karl: So, if Robert Mueller wanted to speak with you about that, you —

Trump: I would be glad to tell him exactly what I just told you, Jon.

Karl: And you seem to be hinting there are recordings of those conversations.

Trump: I'm not hinting anything. I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time.

Karl: When will you tell us about the recordings?

Trump: Over a very short period of time.

Watch: Trump 100 percent willing to testify on Comey meeting

Trump 100% willing to testify under oath on Comey meeting