US senate releases former FBI chief's statement before hearing

On Wednesday, Comey released a written statement in advance of his testimony, stating that he had met with President Donald Trump in a January 27 one-on-one setting at the White House where Trump asked him if he wanted to keep his job, and said, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty". Comey opened the door to questioning about a possible FBI investigation of Trump, writing in his testimony that he assured the president during a March 30 phone conversation that no such investigation had been launched.

Christie, who served as the head of Trump's transition team before being replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, went on to say it's "hard to tell" whether he believes Comey's version of the facts. "One of the things it does, it gets it out there, but it also gives the members of the committee that he'll be before tomorrow overnight to really sharpen their questions, and you might say cross-examination".

Read the full text of Comey's testimony here.

If you don't want to wait, Comey released his prepared remarks Wednesday.

Lieberman cautioned that even if Comey's allegations are true, he would not yet consider it obstruction of justice.

With the former FBI Director's statement already released, Garrett tells us Thursday could reveal nothing more, or it could be a crucial moment.

While Comey casts the president in a less-than-flattering light, he does shy away from directly accusing the president of obstruction of justice.

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But during a White House press briefing on May 12, Press Secretary Sean Spicer rejected the notion that Trump ever asked Comey to pledge loyalty. We simply looked at each other in silence.

According to Comey, Trump asked if he wanted to remain as Federal Bureau of Investigation director and declared: "I need loyalty".

Comey's wording about his conversations with Trump is precise. Comey says he has passed Trump's earlier request on to the acting deputy attorney general but hasn't heard back yet.

President-elect Donald Trump meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Comey agrees Flynn is "a good guy" but refuses to drop the probe.

Comey also describes at length a February 14 meeting in the Oval Office in which he believed Trump asked him to back off an investigation into Flynn.

At that point, the President repeated "I need loyalty", to which Mr. Comey replied, "You will always get honesty from me". Comey tells Trump he can be counted on to tell the truth. He said he believed the president was talking only about Flynn, not about the broader Russian Federation probe.

"The obvious issue is if the president had, that they would have, I think, in my view, said no, they were not asked", he continued.

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