After assuring Trump that he "loved my work and meant to stay and serve out my 10-year term", Comey said he became anxious when Trump told him, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty". "The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle", Comey said.
Comey said he had the memos leaked in hopes of prompting an appointment of a special counsel to the Russian Federation investigation.
US President Donald Trump has pushed back against Mr James Comey, accusing the ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director of lying about their private conversations - and saying he is "100 per cent" willing to testify under oath.
Kasowitz said that "we will leave it to the appropriate authorities" to determine whether Comey's leak "should be investigated".
The lawyer also accused Comey of misstating the timing of the leak. So he leaked his memorandums on the Trump discussions to the New York Times. But NPR's Scott Horsley reports that "in fact, Comey's timeline appears to be correct".
"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", Comey said, suggesting such evidence would back up his account over the president's. The Times ran a story about the memo contents later that day. In an interview on Good Morning America, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also called for Comey to be prosecuted for leaking. Trump has been warned by lawyers to watch what he tweets because his comments could be used against him.
His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had no such inclinations. "I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning". James Risch, Idaho Republican, tried to corner Mr. Comey about the exact wording of Mr. Trump's alleged request for him to drop the Flynn probe.
It was a a deja vu moment for many who remember how the revelation of the Nixon White House tapes fueled the Watergate investigation so many years ago.
Comey said he began documenting his meetings with Trump because of his concerns with the U.S. president's "nature".
The hearing unfolded amid intense political interest, and within a remarkable political context as Comey delivered detrimental testimony about the president who fired him, a president who won election only after Comey damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the final days of the campaign.
"Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", Trump said.
"And I think you saw today the overwhelming majority of the intel members, Democrats and Republicans, feel that Jim Comey is credible".
The assertion that the president is a major league liar is hard to dispute, but being caught in a lie has never hurt Trump.
President Trump wraps up his speech to a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. "There's one meeting we don't (know about) and people would like to know about it". "You understand that. But we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever". In essence, he was saying this country can not trust the words of its president. Career Justice Department officials had been recommending he step aside, Comey said.
"Why did he kick everybody out of the Oval Office" before raising the Flynn investigation, if the president's intent was innocent?