Trump calls former FBI director Comey a "leaker" after testimony

Last Updated Jun 9, 2017 11:26 AM EDT

President Donald Trump is asserting that fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony to Congress represents "total and complete vindication" in the Russia case.

Mr. Trump, who did not post on his Twitter account as Comey appeared before the Senate intelligence committee Thursday, sent a tweet at daybreak Friday. In the post, the president said: "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindcaiton ... and WOW, Comey is a leaker."

Mr. Trump was referring to Comey's revelation that he had passed on to a friend a written memo he'd made detailing a meeting with Mr. Trump at the White House - and had asked a friend to give it to a reporter for the New York Times.

During much of the increasingly heated debate surrounding the FBI's investigation of Russia's role in the election, Mr. Trump has chafed over news leaks, arguing that news organizations had not given them proper attention.

Meanwhile, Alexei Pushkov, a senior Russian lawmaker, dismissed Comey's testimony as a "big bubble," adding that it "will not help Trump's adversaries to start impeachment proceedings."

Russian officials have vehemently denied any role in hacking attacks on the Democratic National Convention and voter-registration databases.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump's outside lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, denied that the president ever asked or pressured Comey to drop the investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. 

In a statement he read to reporters at the National Press Club, Kasowitz said, "the president never, in form, or substance, directed or suggested, that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey quote, let Flynn go, close quote. As the president publicly stated the next day, he did say to Mr. Comey, quote, General Flynn is a good guy. He has  been through a lot, close quote, and also, quote, asked how General Flynn is doing, close quote. Admiral Rogers testified today that the president never, quote, directed him to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate, close quote, and never, never, quote pressured him to do so, close quote."

"The president also never told Mr. Comey, 'I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,'" Kasowitz continued. "He never said it in form and he never said it in substance. Of course, the office of the president is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving the administration.  And from before this president took office until this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications."