James Comey testifying before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence stated that the Trump administration spread lies and defamed him and the FBI. The fired Fbi Director expressed confusion over the changing reasons giving for his firing and talked about feeling pressured to drop the investigation into Russian interference in the US elections.

Lies plain and simple

On his firing, the ousted FBI Director accused the White House of lies and defamation by saying that agents had lost confidence in Comey's leadership and that the bureau was in disarray.

He said those were lies plain and simple and expressed his confusion and concern at the changing explanations of his firing. Comey testified that President Donald Trump had often told him what a great job he was doing and that he let Trump know that he had planned to serve his full 10 year tenure. He was therefore surprised to learn that he was fired because of his decisions relating to the Hillary Clinton email affair in 2016.

An uncomfortable relationship with the president

Mr Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee about the often uncomfortable and complicated relationship he had with the president after the investigation into Russian interference began. He explained how he felt Donald Trump pressured him to stop investigating Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.

In a previously released statement, Comey detailed private conversations with Trump which included a phone call asking him to stop the Russian investigation. At a dinner in January, Trump asked for loyalty and later in March he found himself alone in the Oval Office with the president when senior officials were asked to leave.

It was then that Donald Trump reportedly asked James Comey to let the matter concerning Flynn go.

A plea for loyalty

Loyalty to the president was a recurring topic of conversation at meetings between Trump and the FBI Director. When he accepted an invitation to dinner at the White House, James Comey soon realised that it would only be him and the president.

It was then that he states he was repeatedly asked to pledge his loyalty to the president. The conversation began with Comey being asked if he wanted to remain in his position, an unusual question as he had already been asked by Trump to continue as FBI Director. Comey said he felt it was an attempt by the president to create a kind of patronage relationship and it was a concern for him in light of the FBI's independent status.

Unease leads to documentation

It was the fired FBI Director's unease during some of the interactions with President Trump that led him to document his conversations after they occurred and then share it with select persons. After being asked to pledge his loyalty, Comey says he offered honesty to which Trump responded, honest loyalty, prompting Comey to document that they understood the phrase differently. He also documented instances where he felt he was being pressured to drop the Flynn investigation.