Former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump of defaming him and lying about his tenure at the bureau on Thursday, during a highly anticipated hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“And although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, 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,” Comey said in his opening remarks at the hearing.
Comey was discussing the circumstances of his May 9 firing as FBI director as well as the explanations given by Trump and the White House for his ouster.
Among the many reasons that Trump and White House officials gave for the firing was the claim that FBI agents had little faith in Comey.
“Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey testified, adding that, “I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them.”
Comey said that while he understood that he could be fired for “any reason or no reason at all,” he was “confused” and “increasingly concerned” by the administration’s “shifting explanations” for his firing.