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Trump denies seeking Comey 'loyalty,' dodges tapes question

11 June 2017

"I'm committing the United States to Article 5", Trump said during a news conference Friday with President Klaus Iohannis of Romania in the White House Rose Garden.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, on June 1, 2017.

Cable news networks offered stark headlines about the testimony of former FBI Director James B. Comey's two-plus hours of testimony to senators about his interactions with President Trump.

Trump also implored all nations across the world to desist from supporting terrorism financially, with their military or even morally.

President Donald Trump refused Friday to say whether his private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey were taped - a matter at the heart of conflicting accounts of what passed between them - and asserted that nothing in Comey's testimony to the Senate showed collusion with Russian Federation or obstruction of justice. Karl: And did he ask you to pledge his loyalty-Trump: And there would be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everybody that I've read today.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May, this year, delivered a scathing indictment of the president on Thursday at a congressional hearing. He also said Trump wanted him to back off on the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

The House intelligence committee sent a letter Friday asking White House counsel Don McGahn whether any tape recordings or memos of Comey's conversations with the president exist now or had existed in the past.

But while Republicans have generally continued to back the president, some have begun openly questioning and criticizing his actions.

Earlier Mr Trump had his silence on Twitter, tweeting he'd been vindicated and derided Comey as a "leaker".

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"I hardly know the man", Trump said.

So for now, the score for extracting an Article 5 commitment from Trump is: Romanian journalist 1, NATO Alliance 0.

Ahead of Trump's comments Friday, Democrats had slammed the President for failing to commit to Article 5 while at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as well as his comments during the campaign that the alliance was "obsolete".

That's another reason Trump's Article 5 statement today is so jarring: He chose to commit to America's most important alliance in an answer to a question that hadn't even explicitly asked about it, not in his prepared statement.

But Comey's testimony about the President has darkened clouds hanging over the White House.

Bob Inglis, a Republican former congressman who voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, suggested Trump might be in particularly hot water. I didn't say that and I didn't say the other. We are doing really well. But, we were very, very happy, and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said.

"Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", he said at the media conference.

Already, just past 6 AM this morning, the president claimed Comey committed perjury by lying, and called him a "leaker", which is inaccurate.

Rather, Trump must be premeditatedly pushing an alternate reality knowing that his base will believe anything, that if he says something, no matter how obviously incorrect it is, his core supporters are desperate to believe him.

Trump denies seeking Comey 'loyalty,' dodges tapes question