RNC's rapid response team distributes talking points to rebut Comey

James Comey spoke before Congress on January 13, 2017.

CBS News

An "ad hoc" rapid response team out of the Republican National Committee (RNC) has released a lengthy list of talking points to rebut former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before Congress Thursday.

The RNC's "top takeaways" say that President Trump feels "completely and totally vindicated" by Comey's opening statement, which was released a day earlier. It points out that Comey's opening statement also confirms Mr. Trump's claim that Comey told him three times the president was not under investigation.

"The testimony also confirms that President Trump did not impede or engage in obstruction of justice of the investigation," the talking points say.

Comey's statement, however, does not say that. Some Democrats are alleging that the president did commit an obstruction of justice when he asked that Comey drop the FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, as the Comey statement confirms happened.

The RNC says there is "no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia" and that Mr. Trump was justified in firing Comey because he "lost confidence of both sides of the aisle."

The talking points also appear to downplay the investigation into Russian interference in last year's election, which Comey says the president said was creating a "cloud" over his administration.

"The Left and the media are using the Russia investigation as a means to obstruct the President's agenda. It is time to get back to the real issues," the rapid response team says. "We are pleased the investigative process is moving forward and are confident that when these inquiries are complete, there will still be no evidence to support any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia."

Katie Walsh, who served as deputy White House chief of staff until the end of March, and Mike Dubke, who recently resigned as White House communications director, are involved in helping to coordinate messaging with the RNC. 

A "war room" that was to be made up of former top Trump campaign officials and lawyers that would aid in messaging never materialized.

CBS News' Steve Chaggaris and Jillian Hughes contributed to this report. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.