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As hearing begins, Trump abruptly reverses course, disputes key aspects of Comey testimony

On Thursday, Trump claimed it “totally vindicated” him.

Former FBI director James Comey is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) at the beginning of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Former FBI director James Comey is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) at the beginning of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

On Wednesday, President Trump’s legal counsel released a statement saying that Trump “feels completely and totally vindicated” by former FBI Director James Comey’s written testimony, which contains revelations about Trump asking Comey for a personal loyalty pledge and to a request to quash the investigation into Michael Flynn.

Comey refused both requests before he was fired last month amid an active FBI investigation into the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia.

But as Comey’s testimony began on Thursday, Trump walked back his lawyer’s statement.

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Trump move to dispute key facts presented in Comey’s testimony comes through an anonymous source. The president is reportedly watching Comey’s testimony alongside his legal team and advisers.

Despite some Republicans’ insistence that Comey’s testimony was insignificant, Trump’s move to dispute key aspects of it amounts to a tacit acknowledgment that it is in fact damaging for him.