Comey told the Senate panel this explanation was nonsensical, before taking at shot at the Trump administration's handling of his dismissal. Trump corruptly tried to block the pending criminal investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
'I don't know if there are tapes, ' he told George Stephanopoulos. "I was supposed to take her out to dinner that night". "[I] replied only that '[Flynn] is a good guy'".
On Thursday, Comey said that after he was sacked, he instructed a close friend to describe to a New York Times reporter the memo he wrote documenting Trump's attempt to convince the FBI to drop its investigation of Flynn.
Comey said he couldn't come up with an instance in which someone was convicted of obstruction of justice over the use of word "hope" in similar circumstances. The President fired Mr Comey last month.
At a news conference earlier in the day, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he believes Trump wasn't yet aware of whether his actions were appropriate.
"And you seem to be hinting that there are recordings of those conversations", Karl said.
"That's Bob Mueller's job to sort that out", he said.
One remark in particular from Comey got the Twittersphere buzzing. The White House and Russian Federation deny any collusion occurred.
"At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me", Comey said. MORE: Analysis - Comey goes nuclear in showdown with TrumpHe said that he'd carefully documented his interactions with Trump because he anxious Trump would misrepresent them, and accused the administration of spreading "lies, plain and simple" about the reasons for his firing. I mean think of it, I hardly know the man. "And my judgment was, I needed to get that out into the public square", Comey said.
His appearance before Congress was so eagerly awaited that Washington's bars were crowded by 9:30 a.m., as the denizens of a president-detesting capital amassed in unusually quiet watering holes to gaze at TV screens, occasionally cheering on Comey.
If either Trumps testimony or memos written by Comey about his conversations with the president turn out to be untrue, either man could be charged with lying to federal investigators.
When Comey abruptly lost his job, the FBI was investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties between the president's associates and Russia.
Did Comey violate executive privilege by testifying in the Senate and disclosing his conversations with the president?
The Times, through a spokeswoman, said it had reviewed the story in question and found no evidence that the reporting was inaccurate. "Those were lies, plain and simple", Comey said. The case for obstruction turns on the end result: the firing. A previous version of this article called Flynn the vice president by mistake.
The Constitution provides for impeachment of the president when he commits "High Crimes and misdemeanors". "They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself". A president can be charged after leaving office. Under the Constitution, the president has a duty to "take Care that the laws be faithfully executed". Comey's testimony underscored the discord that had soured their relationship.
Painting a devastating picture of an untrustworthy president, Comey admitted he asked a friend to leak those notes to a reporter, betting - correctly - that the details would prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Kasowitz denounced other parts, including Comey's admission that he leaked a memo through a friend to the news media after his ouster.
The FBI's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether any Trump aides colluded with the effort has mired the White House in controversy during its first months. No, I didn't say that and I didn't say the other. In Comey's testimony, he includes accounts of every interaction he has ever had with the President. Mueller could do the same.