Chuck Schumer invites Donald Trump to testify about Comey and Russia

Key Points
  • The Senate minority leader wants Trump to tell his side of the story in public and under oath.
  • Schumer also said he wants the president to clear up whether his meetings with Comey were recorded.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer
Rachel Woolf | Getty Images

The leading Democrat in the Senate on Sunday invited President Donald Trump to tell his side of the story about his contentious relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, as well as shed light on the ongoing probe into Russia's suspected meddling in the general election.

Chuck Schumer, responding to Trump's statement Friday that he would "100 percent" speak under oath about the Comey affair, said he would like the president to testify in public before the Senate.

"I think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with Leader McConnell," Schumer said on CBS' "Face the Nation," referring to the Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.

The New York Democrat added that the Senate would also consult with special counsel Robert Mueller, who has taken the lead on a wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The White House has been buffeted by suggestions of possible ties between Trump's campaign and Vladimir Putin's government.

Trump's pledge to offer sworn testimony to Mueller came in a press conference the day after Comey's dramatic testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. The former FBI director detailed awkward, "disturbing" interactions with Trump that lead up to his firing May 9.

Comey said Thursday that he believed Trump urged him to an end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which Trump has denied. Comey also said he thinks Trump fired him over the Russia investigation.

The president has said Comey's testimony vindicates his assertion that Trump himself wasn't personally under investigation. However, Trump and his attorney have disputed Comey's other assertions, including his claim that the president sought a pledge of loyalty.

On Sunday Schumer also said he would like to clear up the matter of whether Trump does indeed have tapes of his conversations with Comey, as the president has suggested. Comey, for his part, said Thursday: "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

"If there aren't tapes [Trump] should let that be known," Schumer told CBS. "No more game playing."