President Donald Trump sought comfort in the figurative embrace of his evangelical supporters Thursday as the Federal Bureau of Investigation director he recently fired told Congress about their conversations.
"No collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker, but we want to get back to running our great country", Trump said.
"That was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election that some people think they shouldn't have lost, because it's nearly impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College, as you know". "We were very, very happy, and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things that he said just weren't true", Trump said.
Asked if he would be willing to give his version of events under oath, Mr Trump replied: "100 percent".
"The Amazing to me is that the New York Times and the major media did not even quote the most relevant part of Comey's testimony yesterday where he said categorically the President under the Constitution could have directed him to stop the investigation of Flynn and that the President has the authority to decide who to investigate, who not to investigate, who to prosecute, who not to prosecute".
Mr Trump's aides have dodged questions about whether conversations relevant to the Russian Federation investigation have been recorded, and so did the president, in series of teases.
"I didn't say that", Mr Trump said of the request regarding the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, "And there'd be nothing wrong if I did say it". Trump also denied asking Comey for a pledge of loyalty.
Tellingly, the Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee paid no heed to the talking points distributed in advance by the Republican National Committee at the behest of the White House. Pressed on the issue, he insisted he wasn't "hinting anything", before adding, "Oh you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don't worry".
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Richman's role in sharing details with a reporter of Comey's memo documenting his conversations with Trump will reportedly be addressed Monday, Politico and CNN reported on Friday. "He's a leaker", Trump said of Comey. "No plausible case. We must distinguish crimes from" political "sins".
The claim of vindication also glosses over Comey's claims that Trump pressured him, as FBI director, to drop an investigation into Flynn.
Mr Trump's private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Mr Comey's admission that he had orchestrated the public release of the information.
Mr Comey had first recorded details of his interactions with the President in a series of memos.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks beside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the NATO summit at their new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.
In his testimony on Thursday, Mr Comey said the memo whose contents he had a friend leak was not classified and therefore not inappropriate to make public.
Trump continued to be coy about the possibility of there being recordings of his conversations with Comey, which he has suggested previously.
"We will always support our evangelical community and defend your right and the right of all Americans to follow and to live by the teachings of their faith", the president told more than 1,000 activists meeting at a hotel across town from Capitol Hill, the scene of Comey's nationally televised testimony.