Punching back a day after his fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director's damaging testimony, President Donald Trump on Friday accused James Comey of lying to Congress and said he was "100 percent" willing to testify under oath about their conversations.
Sen. Susan Collins of ME says Trump had a chance to settle the matter when he held a news conference Friday at the White House, but he didn't.
When he was asked would he be willing to testify under oath to give his version of his interactions with Comey, Trump replied, "100 percent". Comey said he wanted the information to become public "because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel" in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and he did not share it himself because that could prompt reporters to camp out near his home, hoping to get even more information.
He portrayed President Trump as a chief executive dismissive of the FBI's independence and made clear that he interpreted Mr Trump's request to end an investigation into his former national security adviser as an order coming from the president.
"One hundred per cent.I would be glad to tell him (special counsel Robert Mueller) exactly what I told you", Trump said at a joint news press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House with the visiting Romanian President.
Meanwhile, a congressional panel asked for any tapes of their conversations.
But the case for obstruction of justice based on Comey's testimony is far from ironclad, legal scholars say.
The real story out of Thursday's hearing was not that former FBI director James B. Comey believed the president lied about him (his opinion), but that then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, head of the Justice Department, ordered the director of the FBI to obfuscate about the type of investigation her friend was under, changing the wording from "investigation" to "matter".
He asserted that nothing in Mr Comey's testimony to the Senate pointed to collusion with Russian Federation or obstruction of justice. They asked the White House to produce them to the committee by June 23.
Former FBI director James B. Comey appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Office Building on June 8 in Washington.
The Maine Republican says Comey was wrong to leak his private conversation with the president. During his campaign, Trump often said it was time to "drain the swamp" in Washington of corrupt and self-dealing insiders.
Standing with the president of Romania, Mr Trump at last confirmed his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance's mutual defence pact, Article 5, uttering words he deliberately did not say when he spoke at its gathering in Belgium last month.
While many of Trump's Republican allies have found Comey's testimony credible, the president has called the man he fired a liar and a "leaker".
"No one outside the White House is contesting the fact that that is what happened, that director Comey is telling the truth", Seidman said.
Trump has come out with a tweet early Friday: "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication ... and WOW, Comey is a leaker".
He said people would know about it very soon. On Friday he said he was "committing the United States to Article 5".
Trump raised the possibility he might have recorded his conversations with Comey last month when the president tweeted that Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations".
He also seized on Comey's revelation that he had directed a friend to release contents of memos he'd written documenting his conversations with the president to a reporter.