US President Donald Trump has accused former FBI director James Comey of lying during his testimony before a congressional committee last week.
In his testimony, Mr Comey revealed that the investigation into presumed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was initially focused on four US citizens.
In two tweets, Mr Trump criticised Mr Comey’s testimony, the transcription of which was made public on Saturday evening and was published on Sunday by several US media outlets.
“Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!” Mr Trump said on Twitter on Sunday.
The president added that during Mr Comey’s appearance before the House judiciary and government reform committees, the former FBI chief told lawmakers “on 245 occasions” that “he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) … All lies!”
Mr Comey, who was abruptly fired by Mr Trump in May 2017, was ordered to appear before congress behind closed doors on Friday to respond to questions from lawmakers investigating the actions of the FBI and the Department of Justice during the scandal involving former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton regarding her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
In July 2016, Mr Comey closed the FBI investigation into Ms Clinton’s use of her private server to send a number of emails while she was serving in the Barack Obama administration, but a few days before the election he reopened the probe to review new messages, something that Democrats say could have influenced the result of the election, which Clinton lost to Mr Trump in what most regarded as a stunning upset.
In his appearance before the House committees, Mr Comey defended the decisions he made in 2016 and revealed that the FBI investigation into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign initially was focused on four Americans, according to the transcript.
Mr Comey did not identify those four people, but he said that Mr Trump was not one of them.