"I was honestly concerned that he might lie."
Since Comey's firing, much speculation has been made about what is in the copious notes the former FBI director has from his meetings with the president. He explained why he kept a record of those meetings.
"I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI."
Comey says Trump lied about why he was fired
In his opening statement, Comey told lawmakers he felt maligned by President Trump's explanation for why he was fired as FBI director in May.
"Although the law requires no reason at all to fire an FBI director the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader," Comey said. "Those were lies plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI work force had to hear them and I am so sorry that the American people were told them."
'Lordy, I hope there are tapes'
Responding to Trump's tweet suggesting he might have recordings of their conversations, Comey said he hoped they existed. He also called on the president to "release all the tapes."
Comey leaked memo in hopes for special counsel
After Trump threatened he might have tapes, Comey said he asked a professor friend at Columbia University to leak a copy of his notes from his first Trump meeting to a New York Times reporter, because he believed it would force the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.
Russian investigation played a role in his firing, Comey believes
In an exchange with Democratic California Senator Diane Feinstein, Comey revealed he thinks he was fired over Russia because "I've seen the president say so."
"The context and the president's words are what led me to that conclusion," Comey said.
He also said during the course of testimony that Trump had asked previous for loyalty, for Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, and whether he was under investigation.
"My common sense told me what's going on here is he's looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay on the job," Comey said.
On Flynn, Comey took Trump's words as an order
When Trump said he hoped he would "let go" of an investigation into ties between Russia and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Comey understood those words as a direction.
That admission led to a back and forth exchange with Republican Idaho Senator James Risch about the word "hope."
"Do you know any case of obstruction of justice where they said or thought they 'hoped' for an outcome?" Risch asked.
Comey said he couldn't recall one, but as president, Trump's words were taken as an order.
"You may have taken it that way, but that's not what he said," Risch said.
Cancelled date night with wife for dinner with Trump
Comey admitted sheepishly he broke a date with his wife Patrice Failor so he could eat dinner with President Trump on January 27. Comey said it was then that Trump asked for him to pledge his loyalty to him.
"In retrospect, I love spending time with my wife. I wish I had been there."
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