Fired FBI Director James Comey is testifying before Congress on Thursday — speaking about his termination publicly for the first time.
Comey, 56, made headlines over the past several months for his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, his role in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, and his abrupt firing last month by President Donald Trump.
“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,” Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt two days after he had announced Comey’s termination.
On the eve of his congressional hearing, Comey said in his prepared testimony that Trump had demanded his loyalty and urged him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“The president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,’ ” Comey said. “I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed.”
Comey’s prepared statement, released Wednesday, set the tone for the testimony some are comparing to the Nixon Tapes that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
The testimony begins at 10 a.m. E.T. Watch the live testimony above.