James Comey speaks at sold-out SF show

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"President Trump's interference was a blatant effort to deny justice, and Director Comey was right to document it as it happened - in real time", he said in a statement.

The memos, which were written before Comey was sacked in May, allege that Trump called the Russian Federation investigation a "cloud" over his administration, and that the president asked what Comey "could do to lift the cloud". The memos reflect Trump's uneasiness about that investigation, though not always in ways that Comey seemed to anticipate.

At the same time, "I could not write a book about ethical leadership without talking about Donald Trump" - a remark the audience greeted with knowing laughter.

He also said "the hookers thing" was "nonsense", but added that Putin had told him "we have some of the most attractive hookers in the world".

During a visit to the White House last week, Rosenstein told Trump that "he isn't a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation or the probe into his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen", Bloomberg reported, citing several people familiar with the matter.

In a separate memo, Mr Comey said that Mr Trump cleared the Oval Office of other officials, encouraged him to let go of the investigation into Mr Flynn and called him a good guy. The memos, which were obtained this week by the AP, were unclassified, though some portions were blacked out as classified.

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They were protesting the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, the murder of Bengaluru-based journalist Gauri Lankesh and other issues. He also discussed with UK Prime Minister Theresa May the prospects for a post-Brexit bilateral free trade agreement.

Comey's criticism of Trump has the Republican Party apparatus, led by Trump's fervent anti-Comey tweets this week, trying to paint the man as a "leaker" of information and a "liar". He said the legal team hasn't yet figured out when they're going to file the lawsuits and is working on making them "solid".

The lawmakers also accused Comey of being "blind to biases" within the FBI and having "terrible judgment" with respect to his deputy Andrew McCabe - who was sacked after an investigation found that he had lied to Comey and to FBI agents about his role in leaks about a probe into the Clinton Foundation. He then blamed Mr Flynn for a delay in returning the congratulatory call of an global leader.

The foreign leader's name is redacted in the documents, but two people familiar with the call tell the AP it was Putin. President Trump was concerned about Andrew McCabe and twice asked Comey whether McCabe was hostile to him.

Flynn was forced to resign less than a month into his tenure as national security adviser when it emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the U.S., during the transition period.

Trump's line of reasoning about what the memos show echoed the argument made by three leading House Republicans at the heart of the chamber's investigation into whether Russian Federation meddled with the 2016 election. "In this case I think they have got it horribly wrong", he said of the inspector general's report on McCabe.

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