President Donald Trump said fired FBI Director James Comey lied in his Senate testimony and that he would be willing to testify under oath that he didn't demand a pledge of personal loyalty from Comey.
"I don't think it's for me to say" whether Trump committed obstruction, Comey demurred, "but that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work toward, to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offense".
Asked if he would make that denial under oath, he said: "100%". He's a leaker", Trump said of Comey, adding, "We were very, very happy and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said.
Comey whet their appetites Thursday, when he told the Senate intelligence committee that Justice Department officials long expected Sessions to recuse himself from overseeing the Russian Federation probe for multiple reasons - implying it was more than just because of Sessions' role in the Trump campaign, as he said was his reason for stepping aside.
Hillary Clinton email probe, compared to anything Trump did to influence the FBI investigation into Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser.
Meanwhile, a congressional panel asked for any tapes of their conversations.
"He then said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".
Almost 20 million USA television viewers tuned in to the explosive televised testimony. US President Donald Trump today accused James Comey of cowardice by leaking accounts of his meetings with the president, days after the ex-FBI director testified that Trump sought to derail the Russian probe. Legal experts and pundits say that, along with the firing of Comey itself, could amount to obstruction of justice. And she says the president should voluntarily hand them over to the Senate Intelligence committee and the special counsel.
Mr Comey testified under oath.
In the much-anticipated appearance, Mr Comey denied Mr Trump's claims the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in disarray and that he had lost confidence of agents.
President Trump, however, refused to say whether his private conversations with Comey were taped.
On Twitter Mr Trump branded Mr Comey a "leaker" who could not be trusted.
In Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump met his match, and his presidency, such as it is, will never recover from that meeting.
Nunes, who still holds considerable power to direct investigations and issue subpoenas on his own, sent subpoenas to the CIA, FBI and NSA seeking details on who Rice, former UN Ambassador Samantha Powers and former CIA Director John Brennan sought to have "unmasked" - or identify redacted names in collected intelligence - in reports.
"One hundred percent", Trump said.
Trump didn't answer a question Friday about whether he had recorded his conversations with Comey. He also said that he will share what he knows about the controversy soon.
Comey said he took that as a presidential command.
"No one outside the White House is contesting the fact that that is what happened, that director Comey is telling the truth", Seidman said.
If President Trump had let the investigation develop as other presidents have done in the past, it seems unlikely to have reached him. Comey also revealed he orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation. On Friday he said he was "committing the United States to Article 5".
The president had previewed his attacks against Mr Comey in an early-morning tweet that broke his previous day's silence on his favourite social media megaphone.