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On Thursday former FBI Director James Comey took the stand in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and directly called out President Trump–accusing the White House of disseminating falsities regarding whether or not his colleagues lost confidence in his leadership as head of the agency.

“Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey said in his opening.

Comey was fired on May 9, just a few weeks after several private meetings between the former FBI Director and President Trump, where Comey states the president requested his loyalty and pressed him to cease investigating former National Securtity Advisor, Michael Flynn. Flynn was fired February after it was revealed he lied about the nature of his contact with Russian officials.

Comey said he was “stunned” by Trump’s request. “I hope you can see your way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said to Flynn during a separate conversation. Comey told the committee he took Trump’s words “as a direction.”

During Thursday’s testimony Comey said he did his best to assure President Trump during a one-on-one conversation that he was not under investigation. Comey told the committee that he had an “awkward” relationship with Trump and also stated he documented each meeting with Trump.

Comey confessed that he should have been more adamant about letting the president know his request was inappropriate.

After Trump tweeted that he hoped there were no leaked recordings of their conversations, Comey said he asked a close friend to release his documentation to a journalist.

Comey said he was assured that by doing so, a private investigator would be hired to look into whether or not the Trump administration colluded with Russia.

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said, referencing Trump’s suggestion that he may have recorded their conversations.

This story is developing.

SOURCE: The New York Times, CNN

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