President Donald Trump said Friday that former FBI Director James Comey's Senate testimony vindicated him because it "showed no collusion, no obstruction" – and that he would be "100 percent" willing to testify under oath about their conversations.
"No collusion, no obstruction," Trump said at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. "He's a leaker."
The comments marked Trump's first beyond Twitter since Comey's public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
On the question of whether he had tapes of his Oval Office conservations with Comey, Trump responded, "I'll tell you something about that maybe sometime in the very near future.
"That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election that some people say they shouldn't have lost," Trump said of Russia.
"It's almost impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College," he added. "You have to run up the whole East Coast and win everything as a Republican – and that's what we did.
"So, it was just an excuse.
"But we were very, very happy and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said – and some of the things that he said just weren't true."
President Trump said that he "did not say that" in response to Comey telling senators that he had asked him to end the probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's alleged Russia ties.
"So, he lied about that?" a reporter asked.
"Well, I didn't say that," Trump responded. "I will tell you, I didn't say that.
"And there would be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everybody that I read today, but I did not say that," the president added.
When asked whether Comey asked for Trump's loyalty, he responded, "no, he did not."
President Trump then told reporters that he would be "100 percent" willing to be interviewed by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
"I hardly know the man," he said, referring to Comey. "I'm not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance.
"Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath?
"I hardly know the man," Trump continued. "It doesn't make sense. I didn't say that."
Regarding talking with Mueller under oath, Trump said that "I'd be happy to tell you what I told you."
In his Thursday testimony, Comey said that he believed Trump fired him to interfere with the agency's Russia investigation and accused the White House of spreading "lies, plain and simple" about him and the FBI after his termination.
He also said that he leaked his personal notes on his private meetings and telephone conversations with President Trump to a Columbia Law School professor to prompt the naming of a special counsel.
Mueller, also a former FBI director, was named to the post the day after notes of the meetings were first reported by The New York Times.
Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, said Thursday that Comey's appearance confirmed "publicly" that that the president was not personally under investigation on Russia, which is "what he repeatedly told the president privately."
Kasowitz added that Comey also confirmed that Trump "never pressured" him to end the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The lawyer also slammed Comey as a leaker – and Kasowitz reportedly plans to file a complaint with the Justice Department and the Senate committee over Comey's disclosures.
Trump tweeted earlier Friday that Comey's appearance was "total and complete vindication," "despite so many false statements and lies."
He added that, "WOW, Comey is a leaker!"
At the news conference, Trump refused to be more specific about whether tapes existed of his conversations with Comey and denied that he was hinting at them.
"I'll tell you about it over a short period of time," he told reporters. "I'm not hinting at anything."
He said that he would disclose information about any recordings "over a short period of time" – adding that "you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer."
More broadly, President Trump said that he was focusing on his agenda for the country.
"We want to get back to running our great country," he said. "Jobs, trade deficits.
"We want them to disappear fast.
"North Korea, big problem. Middle East, a big problem.
"That's what I am focused on," the president said. "That's what I have been focused on."
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