Marc Kasowitz, outside counsel for President Donald Trump, released a statement in the wake of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, saying Comey's testimony makes clear that President Trump "never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election."
Kasowitz also disputed Comey's claim that Trump asked for Comey's loyalty. In his prepared opening statement for the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey described a moment during a January 27 dinner with President Trump in which Trump told Comey, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty." Kasowitz says this claim is false.
"The President also never told Mr. Comey, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty' in form or substance," Kasowitz said. "Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively trying to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers."
Below are additional excerpts from Kasowitz's written statement:
"Contrary to numerous false press accounts leading up to today's hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the President privately: The President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. He also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference."
"Mr. Comey's testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey "it would be good to find out" in that investigation if there were "some 'satellite' associates of his who did something wrong." An the did not exclude anyone from that statement."
Comey also revealed during his Thursday testimony that he shared his notes on his conversations with President Trump with a friend -- Columbia law professor Daniel Richman -- because he thought "that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel." Kasowitz rebuked this action from Comey, saying the former FBI director admitted to "unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President."
Kasowitz read his written statement during a press conference on Thursday. The lawyer did not take any questions.
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