Trump wishes Comey luck, allies aim at lawman's credibility

  • Trump wishes Comey luck, allies aim at lawman's credibility

Trump wishes Comey luck, allies aim at lawman's credibility

President Trump's allies launched a concerted effort to tarnish James Comey's credibility this week, as the White House and Republicans in Congress brace for the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's highly anticipated testimony Thursday about events leading up to his sudden firing.

The latest revelations came out days before Comey makes a highly-anticipated appearance before the Senate intelligence committee - and as the White House and its allies craft a strategy aimed at undermining the former FBI Director's credibility.

Comey will testify Thursday before Congress, breaking the silence he has maintained since Trump fired him on May 9 and capping off a tumultuous relationship that began in the heyday of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Comey unexpectedly stole the spotlight.

But, he added, Republicans on the committee might attempt to discredit Comey's testimony.

Most major U.S. television networks plan to carry the event live.

The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey's handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates.

"I would expect him to hew pretty closely to facts and events", said Jack Sharman, a partner at Lightfoot, Franklin and White and former special counsel to a congressional committee that investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Comey is scheduled to testify publicly for the first time since he was sacked at a hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the comment was made because of concerns Comey had about Trump. Comey associates say that before the director was sacked in May, the president had asked him to drop the investigation into Flynn, and Comey refused. The group, formed after President Donald Trump's election to advocate for his administration, is not required to disclose its donors. And in another twist, one report suggested Tuesday that Trump may live-tweet his responses to the hearing. Sessions reportedly responded that he could not guarantee that Trump would not seek out Comey again.

Multiple press reports Tuesday hinted that Mr. Comey will directly challenge Mr. Trump's claim that he personally told the president on three occasions that he was not under investigation.

"If he has the view that he can talk about specific things he wants to talk about and can't talk about exactly similar things that he doesn't want to talk about, I think that'll be a big problem with me - and with the committee", said Sen.

White House officials had weighed trying to block Comey from testifying on Thursday by arguing that his discussions with the president pertained to national security and that there was an expectation of privacy. "I'm a little upset about that", Trump said obliquely, referring to the headline-grabbing allegations surrounding his son-in-law's contacts with Russian officials.

Trump asked the director of national intelligence to intervene in the FBI's Flynn investigation.

"If there's ever a day for him to get his hands tied behind his back, that's the day", a Republican close to the White House said. "His focus is going to be on pursuing his agenda, and the priorities he was elected to do".