House Committee: Here's What Comey Told Us

A transcript of his closed-door interview is released
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2018 4:14 PM CST
Former FBI Director James Comey, with his attorney, David Kelley, right, speaks to reporters after a day of testimony compelled by the GOP-led House Judiciary and Oversight committees, on Capitol Hill...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The FBI's counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia initially focused on four Americans and whether they were connected to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers during hours of closed-door questioning, per the AP. Comey did not identify the Americans but said President Donald Trump, then the Republican candidate, was not among them. He also told the House Judiciary Committee that, contrary to Trump's claims, he was "not friends in any social sense" with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is now leading the Russia investigation. Trump has repeatedly portrayed the men as close as part of a long-running effort to undermine the investigation and paint the lead figures in the probe as united against him.

"I admire the heck out of the man, but I don't know his phone number, I've never been to his house, I don't know his children's names," said Comey, who added that he had "never hugged or kissed the man" despite the president's insistence otherwise. "A relief to my wife," he deadpanned. The committee released a transcript of the interview on Saturday, just 24 hours after privately grilling the fired FBI chief about investigative decisions related to Hillary Clinton's email server and Trump's campaign and potential ties to Russia. The Russia investigation is now being run by Mueller, and Comey largely dodged questions connected to that probe—including whether his May 2017 firing by Trump constituted obstruction of justice. Click for the full story or see the transcript here. (Trump apparently wanted the Department of Justice to investigate Comey and Hillary Clinton.)

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