Trump dodges tapes question, denies seeking Comey 'loyalty'

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The first is to make the question a he-said, he-said contest between the two men.

If that seems familiar, it should.

"This is an issue that the president should have cleared up in his press conference". Trump said Friday that he'd be willing to testify under oath "one hundred percent".

Here's how this works in the case of Comey.

At the press conference on Friday-on a bright June afternoon-Trump stood podium to podium with President Klaus Iohannis, of Romania, a muscular former physics teacher from Transylvania.

In broad strokes, Trump's tweet was accurate.

He also seized on Mr Comey's revelation that he had directed a friend to release contents of memos he had written documenting his conversations with the president to a reporter.

Trump, of course, has hinted that he has recordings of his conversations with Comey - but refuses to confirm whether such recordings exist.

"I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign", Sessions said at the time.

Comey also attacked Trump's credibility during the hearing and said he took careful notes after their meetings because he anxious the president might lie about their conversations.

No collusion, no obstruction.

Pundits and legal experts have been divided on whether Trump's actions rose to the level of obstruction of justice, a potentially impeachable offense, while Comey said that decision was now in the hands of Mueller, who is also a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

According to Politico, the request came from Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway and California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the two men now at the helm of the House's investigation into the Trump-Russia affair.

Comey told the Senate intelligence committee Thursday about several one-on-one interactions with the president, during which he said Trump pressed him to show "loyalty", to back off on the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and to disclose that Trump himself was not under investigation. Karl wanted to know whether Trump agreed with Comey's account of their conversation. Trump is accusing Comey of a crime. "And some of the things he said just weren't true".

"When will you tell us about the recordings?" asked ABC News' Jonathan Karl. "Even folks who have been his critics don't question his integrity, his commitment to the rule of law and his intelligence", Warner said. A person close to Trump's legal team has said a complaint would be filed with the Justice Department.

Would he be willing to talk to Mueller, Karl continued, a conversation which would likely require sworn testimony? "I'm going to open an investigation against you" - that's clearly witness intimidation, and that itself is obstruction of justice", Painter said.

The importance of Trump's unwavering assertion that he would tell the special counsel the same thing under oath is important. Comey told the Senate that Trump had asked him to pledge his loyalty over the investigation.

Bob Inglis, a Republican former congressman who voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, suggested Trump might be in particularly hot water.

But there is a very, very big difference between saying you'd be happy to testify under oath and actually testifying under oath, the same difference as saying you'll give most of your income to charity and actually doing it - something else Trump knows about.

Trump made the remarks while responding to questions on Comey's explosive testimony in which he accused the president of trying to stop a probe into the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections previous year.

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