President Donald Trump on Friday defiantly rejected the claim made by James Comey in his testimony before the Senate intel committee Thursday that he had asked the former FBI director to drop the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I didn’t say that,” Trump said at a joint press conference alongside the president of Romania. “I will tell you I didn’t say that—and there would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I’ve read today, but I did not say that.”
The president also denied having asked for a pledge of loyalty, as Comey asserted during Thursday’s much-anticipated testimony.
“I hardly know the man. I’m not going to say ‘I want you to pledge allegiance,'” he said. “Who would do that?”
When pressed if he would be willing to testify under oath about his version of the events, Trump answered, “100 percent.”
The president on Friday also largely deflected questions about the potential existence of secret recordings of his conversations with Comey, telling reporters he would provide more information on the issue “sometime in the very near future.” Last month, Trump suggested such tapes did in fact exist:
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Earlier on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to declare “total and complete vindication” in response to Comey’s testimony. He also slammed the former FBI director as a “leaker”—a reference to Comey’s revelation before Congress that he had allowed a close friend to disclose memos chronicling his meetings with the president to the press in hopes they would lead to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin.