Transcript for Comey accuses Trump of lying about him, FBI
The president just fired back. Sent out a tweet saying despite so many false statements and lie, total and complete vin DI Cagle and, wow, Comey is a leaker. A lot of questions. Did the president pressure him to end the investigation. Was it obstruction of justice? Are there tapes? And is the special counsel now investigating president trump? Let's start with our chief white house correspondent Jon Karl. Good morning, Jon. Reporter: Good morning, George. Comey's dramatic testimony has set up a new line of attack from the white house, a battle between the president and the former FBI director over who is telling the truth. In his first public appearance since being fired by president trump, James Comey accused the white house of lying about him and lying about the FBI. The administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lie, plain and simple. Reporter: And Comey left no doubt about why he believes he was fired. It's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. I was fired in some way to change or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal. Reporter: Comey's testimony left president trump uncharacteristically speechless. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Mr. President, any reaction to Comey's testimony? Any reaction at all. Thank you very much. Do you think he told the truth? The response came instead from his person lawyer who issued a direct challenge to Comey accusing Comey of lying under oath. The president never suggested that Mr. Comey, quote, let Flynn go, closed quote. The president likewise never pressured Mr. Comey. The president also never told Mr. Comey, quote, I need loyalty, I expect loyalty, closed quote. Reporter: He keyed in on Comey's acknowledgement he asked a friend to leak his memos to "The New York Times" describing his private conversations with the president. My judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square and so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons but asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. Reporter: Kasowitz suggested it could be Comey in legal jeopardy. We will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated along with all the others that are being investigated. Reporter: But amidst a he said/he said one thing they agree. President trump was not under FBI investigation. I gather from all of in that you're willing to say now that while you were director the president of the United States was not under investigation. Is that a fair statement? That's correct. So that's a fact we can rely on. Yes, sir. Reporter: Of course, that doesn't mean he's not under investigation now. The truth about the contested conversations may come down to tapes which trump tweeted may exist. Tapes Comey and many others in congress now say they'd like to hear. I've seen the tweet about tape, lordy, I hope there are tapes. Reporter: The white house still will not say whether or not those tapes or any recordings of the president's conversations with Comey actually exist. But you can bet that the president and his team will be asked that question over and over again until there is an answer. Amy. All right, Jon Karl, thanks so much.
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