Fired FBI director Comey's testimony puts spotlight on Trump

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The conversation is odd from the start: Trump asks whether Comey wants to keep his job even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation director had twice before told Trump he wanted to stay on.

The public portion of Comey's highly anticipated testimony is being broadcast on a number of TV networks and online platforms, and marks the first time the former F.B.I. director will speak publicly since he was sacked by President Donald Trump last month.

A Flynn pardon would have undoubtedly set off a political firestorm. "I had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December", Comey said.

But lawmakers in both parties question whether the testimony legally constitutes obstruction of justice by the president, which is the scope of Mueller's special counsel investigation. After a briefing by the country's top intelligence officials on the Russian operation, Comey stayed behind to brief the President-elect alone on "personally sensitive aspects of the information" the intelligence community had collected, including what Comey called in his testimony "salacious and unverified" allegations about Trump. But Comey added he could not discuss the reasons openly.

"I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn't find anything, to our having done the work well".

"He was more than willing to leak something against @realDonaldTrump but not something that exonerates him?" For example, she opposed a couple of Trump's Cabinet nominees. Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, on CNN.

This makes Comey uncomfortable, because it feels like Trump is creating a "patronage" situation in which Comey will owe Trump for his job. The ousted FBI director said Trump sought his "loyalty" and asked what could be done to "lift the cloud" of investigation shadowing his White House, according to prepared remarks released ahead of his appearance Thursday.

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"The tone, the exact words that were spoken and the context are so important".

"We are here because a foreign adversary attacked us right here at home". "And we can only get that by talking to those directly involved".

"And after that, the president then called the FBI director on two additional occasions - March 30 and April 11 - and asked him to "lift the cloud" of the Russian Federation investigation". But a replacement health care bill has yet to clear Congress despite seven years of pledges by Republicans to scrap the law and start over, and despite the fact that the GOP has full control of the White House and Congress.

In a cryptic note, Comey mentioned in his prepared statement and his testimony Thursday that the FBI expected Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia-related investigation. Upon learning the White House counsel and chief of staff were looking to get approval from the barely conscious Ashcroft, Comey had his security detail redirect him to the hospital so he could intercept them.

Warner goes onto say that Russian cyber attacks were meant to "hijack our most important democratic process: our presidential election". She spent years as a prosecutor, and served as district attorney of San Francisco before being elected California's attorney general.

But there are plenty of other damning allegations Comey will testify about that senators will surely press him on, including his awkward solo dinner with Trump where the president pressed him for loyalty and his lone Oval Office conversation with the president the day after Flynn was sacked. Harris has been among the Democrats most steadfastly opposed to the Trump administration.