Hudson Valley native and former FBI Director James Comey testified on Thursday that President Donald Trump lied both about the circumstances of his dismissal and the status of the FBI in nearly three hours of testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Whose version of events that led to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey do you believe?
President Donald Trump
Truth is somewhere in between their versions
Comey said Trump lied to the American public when the president said the FBI had lost confidence in Comey and was in disarray prior to his firing.
“Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey said. "I am so sorry the FBI workforce had to hear them."
Comey also said the White House was misleading when it initially said Comey was fired because of his job performance and because of his controversial handling of the investigation of Chappaqua resident Hillary Clinton's email server.
In an interview with NBC News shortly thereafter, Trump himself cited the investigation into possible collusion with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign as the reason for the firing.
“He (Trump) had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job and he hoped I would stay,” Comey said. “He told me repeatedly he had talked to lots of people about me including our current attorney general and had learned I was doing a great job and was extremely well-liked by the FBI.”
“It confused me when I saw the president on TV saying he actually fired me because of the Russian investigation. I was also confused by the initial explanation offered publicly that I was fired because of decisions I’d made during the election… That didn’t make any sense to me.”
Moments after Comey completed his public testimony, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an informal gathering with reporters, "No, I can definitely say the president is not a liar and I think it's frankly insulting that question would be asked."
.A transcript of Comey's prepared testimony was released late Wednesday afternoon.
In the statement, Comey detailed what he wrote in notes from one-on-one meetings with Trump prior to his firing. In the statement, Comey confirmed Trump asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him and also asked Comey to drop the investigation of fired former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
After that revelation was first made, Trump tweeted that Comey had better hope there were not audiotapes of their conversations.
"Lordy, I hope there are tapes," said Comey, adding that he would approve of them being immediately released.
Trump has not yet commented or tweeted on Comey's testimony. His son, Donald Jr., posted numerous tweets on the testimony, including one saying, "Very far from any kind of coercion or influence and certainly not obstruction!"
Trump also reportedly called Comey a "nut job" in a meeting with Russian diplomats the day after the firing, saying the move would "ease pressure" on the Russian investigation.
Comey lived in Yonkers until he was a teenager. He is the grandson of longtime Yonkers police officer - and former Police Commissioner William Comey and served as a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York before being chosen by then President Barack Obama to head the FBI in 2013 on a 10-year appointment.
Comey also served as a deputy attorney general from December 2003 through August 2005 under President George W. Bush.
Trump, who owns the $19 million Seven Spring estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.