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James Comey Says He Documented His Meetings with Trump Because He Thought the President Might Lie

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On Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee about the events leading up to his firing. He was able to give detailed accounts of his meetings with President Trump, because he said he had written memos of each meeting directly after every one. When asked why he decided to document these meetings so closely, Comey said it was due to the “nature of the person," meaning Trump.

Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner, a Republican from Virginia, asked Comey to explain his careful documentation on Thursday, according to Talking Points Memo.

“A combination of things,” Comey said. “I think the circumstances, the subject matter and the person I was interacting with.”

And what were these circumstances Comey spoke of?

“Circumstances: First, I was alone with the president of the United States, or the president-elect, soon to be president,” Comey said. “The subject matter: I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility and that relate to the president-elect personally. And then the nature of the person. I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it was really important to document. That combination of things I had never experienced before, but it led me to believe I got to write it down, and I got to write it down in a very detailed way.”  

Vox reports Comey began writing down his interactions with Trump after a meeting with him at Trump Tower on January 6.

In Comey’s prepared opening statement for the Senate Intelligence Committee, he said, “I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the president-elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting.”

It's still surprising to hear the former FBI director say he thinks the president is a liar, but Comey is totally justified in thinking that—and it's helpful for all of us that he kept such good records of his meetings with Trump.


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