James Comey

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, fired FBI Director James Comey defended his controversial decisions during the 2016 campaign and asserted that the reputation of his agency — which operates under near daily siege from the president and his allies — "would be worse today had we not picked the least bad alternatives."

"I saw this as a 500-year flood, and so where is the manual? What do I do?" he said.

The Senate has easily confirmed Christopher Wray to be the next FBI director, a position he assumes after former Director James Comey was ousted by President Trump in May.

The 50-year-old former Justice Department lawyer was approved by a 92-5 vote.

Wray was Trump's choice to lead the FBI after he decided to fire Comey — a controversial decision that led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the bureau's investigation into Russian interference in last year's elections and possible collusion between top aides to the Trump campaign and Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, fiercely maintaining he did nothing wrong in meeting twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during President Trump's 2016 campaign and also infuriating Democrats by refusing to detail any conversations he has had with the president.

The hearing lasted about 2 1/2 hours and included a number of testy exchanges. Here are the highlights:

1. "An appalling and detestable lie"

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a Senate committee Tuesday that any suggestion he colluded with Russia during last year's U.S. presidential campaign was an "appalling and detestable lie."

Sessions spent more than 2 1/2 hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which included several testy exchanges with Democratic senators who accused him of obstructing their investigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 2:30pm ET today, as the investigation continues into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Sessions is expected to take questions about his recusal from the Russia investigation, his own meetings with Russian officials, and what if anything he knew about a private Oval Office meeting between President Trump and fired FBI Director James Comey.

The nation's top legal officer is set to go before Congress on Tuesday to try to defuse a bomb that the former FBI director dropped into his lap.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee less than one week after James Comey told the committee he could not discuss openly certain information about Sessions' recusal from the investigation into Russia's election meddling last year.

President Trump said Friday he would be willing to testify under oath about his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May.

The president said Comey's testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee mostly vindicated his previous claims about their interactions.

President Trump has broken the silence he maintained during former FBI Director James Comey's testimony Thursday, saying on Twitter that he was vindicated in the hearing that explored Russian meddling in the U.S. election, its ties to Trump's security adviser, and Trump's dealings with Comey.

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" the president tweeted early Friday morning.

There was varying reactions, much of it along party lines, to the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey in Washington on Thursday.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI director James Comey may have done more damage to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday than even President Trump, whom Comey publicly accused of waving him off part of the Russia investigation.

Comey said he expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation weeks before he did because of reasons that are classified. That does not comport with Sessions rationale when he announced his recusal in early March.

Trump's Lawyer Fires Back After Comey Testimony

Jun 8, 2017

Updated at 3:35 p.m ET

President Trump's outside lawyer flatly denied that the president ever asked former FBI Director James Comey for a pledge of loyalty, and he accused Comey of disclosing privileged communications with the president to the news media, without authorization.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he believed he was fired by President Trump over the growing Russia investigation and that other arguments by the White House were "lies, plain and simple."

Susan Walsh / AP

Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since he was fired by President Trump nearly a month ago. The Senate Committee is looking into the circumstances around Comey's dismissal and how they relate to the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. Election. The White House has given conflicting messages about the reasons for Comey's firing. Sources close to Comey say the President told Comey to shut down the Russia investigation. That's a charge that the White House denies.

The former director of the FBI is expected to tell Congress that the president of the United States asked him to lay off an investigation to protect a disgraced former national security adviser.

Or as it's known inside Washington: "Thursday."

James Comey's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee is unlike any event on Capitol Hill in recent years — anticipated for weeks, the subject of huge national scrutiny and scheduled for wall-to-wall news coverage.

Updated at 6:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that President Trump did ask him for "loyalty" at a January dinner and later told him alone in the Oval Office that he "hope[d] you can let" the investigation into former national security director Michael Flynn "go."

Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET

President Trump says he has chosen Christopher Wray, a former Justice Department official during President George W. Bush's administration, to head the FBI. Wray now works on white collar crime at an international law firm.

The president named his pick via Twitter, writing Wednesday morning, "I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions "at one point recently" offered to resign because his relationship with President Trump had grown so tense, according to reports from ABC News and multiple other news outlets.

President Trump told Russian officials last week that he had fired the "nut job" FBI Director James Comey to ease the pressure of the mounting investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia, according to a report from The New York Times.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Twitter

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said if President Trump recorded his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, he should hand them over to Congress.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Undermining the prior rationale laid out by the White House, President Trump said he decided to fire James Comey as FBI director without regard to the Justice Department's recommendation.

"It was set up a while ago," Trump admitted to NBC's Lester Holt in his widest-ranging remarks about his firing of Comey. "And frankly, I could have waited, but what difference does it make?"

He added, "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey."

Want to prepare for the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on Thursday? Buckle up.

Democrats led by Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia are angry enough to blow the dome off the Capitol after the man they expected to be a star witness — James Comey — was removed from office as FBI director by President Trump on Tuesday.

Updated at 9:22 p.m. ET

The president has fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

New York Senior Senator Charles Schumer, in the only debate with his opponent, broadcast on Time Warner Cable, said he’s “appalled” by FBI director James Comey’s actions, including  the decision announced Friday  to re-examine emails from Hillary Clinton’s top aide for evidence of misuse of classified materials.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Newly discovered emails being examined by the FBI in relation to Hillary Clinton's email server came to light in the course of an unrelated criminal investigation of Anthony Weiner, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Weiner is the estranged husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin; he has been under scrutiny for sending illicit text messages to an underage girl. Sources said authorities seized electronic devices in their home, which led them to this new information.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Chairmen of Erie County’s political committees are having mixed reactions to FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the bureau is not recommending presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton be criminally charged for mishandling classified data on private email servers.

Hillary Clinton and her staff were "extremely careless" in handling classified data over a private email server while she was secretary of state, FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday — but the FBI is recommending that no charges be brought against her.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The head of the FBI says the fight against terror is changing but remains a threat. James Comey made those comments during Monday's visit to Buffalo.


Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The new director of the FBI says cybercrime is the issue of the day, in the wake of tens of millions of people having their financial information stolen while making credit card purchases.