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Comey releases opening statement regarding private talks with Trump




FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 3, 2017.
FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 3, 2017.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Former FBI Director James Comey will say in his opening statement to a congressional hearing that President Donald Trump told him, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty" during a January dinner, according to documents released a day ahead of his planned testimony.

Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence committee Thursday. His prepared statement was released Wednesday afternoon.

In the statement, Comey said he and Trump dined together privately in January. During the meal, he said Trump asked him if he wanted to remain on as FBI director. Comey said he replied that he wanted to serve out his ten-year term and "was not on anybody's side politically."

Comey said Trump then made his statement about loyalty. Comey replied that he could offer his honesty, and that when Trump said he wanted "honest loyalty," Comey answered, Comey paused and said, "You will get that from me."

Trump abruptly fired Comey last month.

James Comey's Opening Statement by Southern California Public Radio on Scribd

Guests:

Alex Wayne, White House editor for Bloomberg News; he’s been following this story

Garrett Graff, journalist and author; former editor at Politico Magazine and the Washingtonian;  he wrote a biography on former FBI Director Robert Mueller, "The Threat Matrix: The FBI At War In The Age Of Global Terror" (Back Bay Books, 2012); he tweets @vermontgmg