WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is declining to answer questions about claims made by former FBI Director James Comey that he has been untruthful.
Trump stayed quiet and simply smiled Thursday afternoon when reporters asked him about Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee earlier in the day. The president was hosting a panel at the White House with governors and local government leaders on infrastructure.
Trump also kept silent on Twitter as Comey testified Thursday morning.
The former FBI director says the president had told “lies, plain and simple” about dismissing him from the FBI due to low morale at the bureau. Comey said he believes he was fired for refusing to shut down the FBI investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russians during the 2016 presidential race.
Comey said he took notes about his meetings with the president on a feeling that the president might misrepresent them.
Trump’s lawyer has disputed Comey’s statements.
Meanwhile, the top two members of the Senate intelligence committee say they believe Comey told the truth under oath Thursday.
Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, said, “I trust James Comey” and does not believe he lied. Sen. Mark Warner, the committee’s top Democrat, also said he believes Comey.
Comey said at the hearing that he interpreted comments made by Trump to him as a directive to shut down the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump’s lawyer disputed that, saying the president never directed or suggested that Comey stop investigating anyone.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer challenged Trump to release tapes the president once alluded to in a tweet. “Play the tapes for all of America to hear,” he said.