President Trump feels “completely and totally vindicated” by testimony that former FBI Director James Comey plans to give in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, his lawyer says.
“The president is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the President was not under investigation in any Russia probe,” Marc Kasowitz, a longtime Trump attorney, said in a statement Wednesday.
“The President feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda,” added Kasowitz, who Trump recently tapped to handle all matters related to the ongoing Russia investigation.
According to prepared remarks released by the Senate panel earlier in the day, Comey plans to confirm that he told Trump on three occasions — on Jan. 6, Jan. 27 and March 30 — that the Republican was not a target in the FBI’s investigation of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Trump made that claim in a May 9 letter informing Comey that he was being fired. Trump’s statement had been the subject of debate over the past month with several associates of Comey’s saying they doubted that the former FBI chief would have given such affirmative remarks.
While Trump will appreciate Comey’s statements about the three separate assurances, not all of his remarks will cast Trump in a positive light.
Comey plans to tell the Senate committee that Trump asked him to back off an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey will also say that he felt uncomfortable by what he saw as Trump’s attempts to “create some sort of patronage relationship.”
“That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch,” Comey will say.