Former FBI Director James Comey is both a liar and someone whose testimony before the Senate on Thursday provided “total and complete vindication,” according to President Donald Trump.
In one tweet posted Friday morning, Trump accused Comey of perjury while encapsulating the incoherent position previously alluded to by his lawyer and the Republican National Committee.
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
A statement released shortly after Comey’s testimony by Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s personal lawyer, provided more detail about team Trump’s position.
Kasowitz specifically denied the two most incriminating aspects of Comey’s testimony: that Trump asked Comey to pledge personal loyalty to him on January 27, the day after then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates personally informed the White House about evidence that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was under investigation; and that Trump asked him to quash the investigation of Flynn nearly three weeks later.
While Comey allegedly lied about those incidents, team Trump has seized upon Comey’s confirmation that he indeed told Trump on multiple occasions he wasn’t personally under investigation. This confirmation absolves the president of any wrongdoing, Trump’s representatives say.
But at another point during Thursday’s hearing, Comey indicated that while Trump may not have been under investigation in the past, his possible obstruction of justice is now part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
There’s a danger in Trump’s position. He and his lawyer are accusing Comey of perjury while not under oath themselves. Will Trump stand by his version of events if he has to give a sworn account of his interactions with Comey? If he does, it’ll be the word of a meticulous memo-writer against the word of a man who began his presidency by declaring war on reality itself and has,by one count, told 623 lies during the first 137 days of his administration.