US President Donald Trump slams 'cowardly' ex-FBI director James Comey

He portrayed Trump as a chief executive dismissive of the FBI's independence and made clear that he interpreted Trump's request to end an investigation into his former national security adviser as an order coming from the president.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos repeatedly pressed Lewandowski on a private meeting the president held with Comey on February 14 in the Oval Office, in which Trump allegedly asked everyone else in the room to leave so he could speak with the then-FBI director alone.

Comey repeatedly met with Trump despite his misgivings that Trump allegedly pressured him to let Flynn walk.

That tweet has prompted repeated demands from the congressional committees investigating any possible collusion between Trump's team and Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign, and the process by which he fired Comey, for him to hand over any tapes that exist.

In a May interview with NBC News' Lester Holt, Trump claimed the January meeting took place because Comey "wanted to have dinner" with the president.

The assertion that the president is a major league liar is hard to dispute, but being caught in a lie has never hurt Mr. Trump.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director boldly challenged the president who fired him, accused the Trump administration of lying and supplied material that could be used to build a case against President Donald Trump.

But when the ex-FBI director was asked if the direction of the investigation could include the president, he carefully replied: "As I explained, the concern of one of my senior leader colleagues was, if you're looking at potential coordination between the campaign and Russian Federation, the person at the head of the campaign is the candidate".

Trump's favorability rating also appeared not to be too favorable for him, as 43 percent of those asked find the president "very unfavorable".

"We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make (Sessions') continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic, " Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.

What Comey did not say may ultimately prove as telling as what he did during his blockbuster questioning by members of the Senate intelligence committee.

Comey confirmed what Trump had said when he fired the FBI director last month: Comey had told the president on three different occasions that he wasn't the target of a criminal investigation.

Finally, Trump tweeted this: "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" "If he were the president of a college or an important think tank, he could pursue the issues that mean the most to him and not be anxious about trying to make anyone happy".

Of course, those "seagulls" would not have had any idea who Comey was leaking information to about Trump by telephone, just as they did not know he leaked information to Richman.

Comey revealed to the committee in his testimony on Thursday that, while he was still head of the FBI, Trump was personally not under investigation. After Trump's tweet, Comey said he couldn't stay silent.

Mr. Trump's true crime may not be obstruction of justice, but dereliction of duty.

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