During a news conference Friday, Trump offered to testify under oath about his account of his encounters with then-FBI Director James Comey, who told the Senate intelligence committee Thursday that the president pressured him to back off an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia and other foreign powers.
“We have the former director of the FBI under oath saying one thing, President Trump saying another. There is a cloud over the presidency, the president said, and that’s rightly so,” Schumer said.
“I’d like to invite the president to testify before the Senate,” Schumer said, in consultation with Robert Mueller, the special counsel the Justice Department selected to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The probe includes looking into whether Trump or anyone connected to his presidential campaign or administration colluded with Russia or sought to obstruct law enforcement inquiries into the matter.
“We could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions,” Schumer said.
Schumer also said Trump could clarify much that is in dispute between Comey’s and his versions of what transpired between the two men by disclosing whether there are recordings of their meetings, as he insinuated on Twitter in May.
At his press conference, Trump declined to confirm or deny the existence of such tapes, telling reporters he would answer the question in the “very near future.” He added that reporters could be “very disappointed when you hear the answer.”
Schumer said that “if there are tapes ― [Trump] alluded to the fact that there are tapes, maybe as a threat or taunting Comey ― he should make them public right away. If there aren’t tapes he should let that be known. No more game playing.”
Earlier on the same program, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Trump shouldn’t appear before the Senate.
“I think it’s inappropriate for the president to testify publicly,” Graham said.
“Mr. President, let’s not make a circus out of your presidency. If you want to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify under oath, we’ll put Comey by you. It’d be the highest rated TV show in the history of the world, but it’s not good for our democracy,” he said.