(ABC)– Finally breaking his silence on Twitter, President Trump Friday called James Comey a “leaker” and said he feels “total and complete vindication” despite “so many false statement and lies” in an apparent swipe at the former FBI director’s Senate testimony Thursday.
“WOW, Comey is a leaker!,” Trump tweeted.
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
While the president doesn’t specify his target for the “false statements and lies,” Trump’s lawyer refuted two key parts of Comey’s testimony Thursday.
Contradicting Comey’s testimony, Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz said Thursday the president never told Comey he “need[s] loyalty” and he never asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn.
Kasowitz said Comey confirmed publicly what he had told Trump privately: “That is, that the president was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference.”
“The president feels completely vindicated and is eager to continue moving forward with his agenda, with the business of this country, and with this public cloud removed,” Kasowitz said.
Trump also called Comey a “leaker” after the former FBI director testified Thursday that he handed over his contemporaneous memos on the interactions he had with Trump to a “close friend” with the intention the memos be shared widely.
“My judgment was I need to get [the memos] out into the public square,” Comey said. “So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memos with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
Kasowitz said, “Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory.”
But Kasowitz’s statement offers an inaccurate chronology of events.
Comey was fired May 9 and Trump tweeted May 12, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
In the hearing Thursday, Comey said he woke up “in the middle of the night on Monday night,” May 15, “because it didn’t dawn on me originally, there might be corroboration, a tape.”
Comey went on to say that’s when he shared the memos with his friend who is a Columbia Law professor.
The New York Times ran its report on Comey’s memos on Tuesday, May 16. In his statement Thursday, Kasowitz appeared to be referring to a New York Times article from May 11, which makes no mention of memos and only cites “two people who have heard [Comey’s] account of the dinner.”