WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday he would “100 percent” be willing to testify under oath about allegations that he asked former FBI Director James Comey to ease up an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
At a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Trump reiterated that he felt vindicated by Comey’s testimony before a Senate committee yesterday but also said that Comey lied in characterizing conversations between the two.
Among his disagreements with Comey, Trump said he never asked Comey for an oath of loyalty.
“I didn’t say that,” Trump said Friday. “I’m going to tell you, I didn’t say that. And there would be nothing wrong with it if I did say that, according to everybody that I’ve talked to today. But I didn’t say that.”
Comey testified Thursday that Trump told him “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” during a White House dinner, before saying that Flynn is a “good guy” and that Comey should “let this go.”
Standing next to the Romanian president, Trump argued that it wouldn’t have made sense to demand Comey’s loyalty.
“I hardly know the man, I’m not going to say, ‘I want you to pledge allegiance’,” Trump said. “Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath. Think of it, I hardly know the man. It doesn’t make sense.”
Trump also said Friday he would “be glad” to meet with special counsel Robert Mueller to tell his version of the conversations with Comey. After Trump fired Comey, the Justice Department appointed Mueller, also a former FBI director, to oversee the investigation into whether Russia coordinated with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 election.
Earlier in the press conference, however, Trump said that Comey’s testimony supported his assertion that he did not act improperly.
Comey “confirmed a lot of what I said” even though “some of the things that he said just weren’t true.” In his caustic testimony, Comey accused the Trump administration of spreading lies, though he acknowledged telling Trump that he wasn’t personally under investigation.
“No collusion. No obstruction,” Trump said Friday. “He’s a leaker, but we want to get back to running our great country. … Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction.”
Trump also appeared to deny the existence of tapes of his conversations with Comey, saying the media would be “very disappointed,” but that the administration would be discussing the issue soon.
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