James Comey blasts Trump's 'LIES'

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james-comey-photo-1.jpgFired FBI Director James Comey kicked off the most watched political testimony in years by blasting the 'lies' told after President sacked him, blasting an administration he says chose to 'demean' him.

In his opening comments, he called out 'shifting explanations' that followed his firing, and specifically pointed to Trump's televised comment that he fired Comey because of the FBI's Russia investigation.

'The administration then chose to demean me and more importantly the FBI,' Comey complained at the top of his remarks.

'Those were lies, plain and simple,' he said.

He said he kept detailed records of his interactions with the president because he was 'honestly concerned that [Trump] might lie about the nature of our meeting.'

It was a contrast to the reviews he got from the president while he was in office. 'He had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job and he hoped I would stay.

In an early revelation, Comey stopped short of describing a conversation where Trump asked him to let go of an investigation into fired national security advisor Mike Flynn as obstruction of justice, which is a federal crime.

'General Flynn at that point of time was in legal jeopardy. There was an open FBI criminal investigation of his statements in connection with the Russian contacts and the contacts themselves,' Comey said.

'I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct. I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning. But that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense,' he said.

Comey explained why he kept detailed memos on his conversations and meetings with the president - something he said he didn't do with President George W. Bush and Barack Obama because there wasn't a need.

'I knew that there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself but to defend the FBI and our integrity as an institution,' Comey said.

'I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,' he said.

Comey also explained how he interpreted Trump's statement in an unusual one-on-one meeting where he asked Comey to let the investigation of security advisor Mike Flynn go.