Jun 9, 2017

Trump agrees to testify under oath about Russia probe

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump fielded questions on James Comey while giving a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis at the White House Friday. Trump told reporters that he felt completely vindicated by Comey's testimony, stating that there was "no collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker."

When asked whether he recorded the conversations he had with Comey, Trump said, "I'll tell you about that sometime in the near future." He also denied ever asking for Comey's loyalty or asking him to "let Flynn go." And he said he'd "100%" be willing to testify under oath to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

President Trump on Comey:

  • Trump on Comey tapes: "I'll tell you about that sometime in the near future." He later added, "you'll be very disappointed when you hear the answer."
  • Why do you feel vindicated by Comey's testimony? "No collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker... we are doing really well, that was an excuse by the Democrats who lost the election... we were very happy and frankly James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things just weren't true."
  • Did you ask Comey to "let Flynn go"? "I didn't say that .... and there'd be nothing wrong with that if I did say it, according to everybody that I read today."
  • Denies asking for Comey's loyalty: "I hardly know the man, who would do that, who would ask him to pledge allegiance under oath."
  • Would you be willing to testify under oath to Special Counsel Robert Mueller? "100 percent."

President Trump on Foreign Affairs:

  • Article 5: "I am committing the U.S. to Article 5." Note: Trump failed to openly state he was committed to Article 5, the principle that all members are committed to collective defense and that an attack on one ally is considered as an attack against all allies, while in Brussels.
  • Qatar: "It is time to call on Qatar to end its funding of terrorism and extremist ideology... I want other countries to stop teaching people to kill other people... we ask Qatar and other nations in the region to do more, and do it faster."
  • NATO: "Because of our actions, the money is starting to pour into NATO... other countries are starting to realize it is time to pay up, and I am very proud of that."

President Iohannis:

  • NATO: "I'm very glad that, thanks to your strong leadership, Nato decided to go against terrorism and countries are sharing the burden... I hope we find ways together to make good use of this money."
  • E.U.: "I think its in your best interest MR President to have a strong relationship with the European Union... NATO and the European union do not have to compete against each other. They have to work together."
  • Thoughts on Trump's Brussels speech: "I was in Brussels and I listened to President Trump's speech, and I liked it."

Go deeper

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.