(Getty/Ron Sach-Pool)

Donald Trump hits "leaker" James Comey after testimony, but is reportedly relieved

Trump's White House is celebrating that he's not personally under investigation for Russia's interference

Matthew Rozsa
June 9, 2017 11:29AM (UTC)

Reports indicate that the White House was relieved by the testimony provided by former FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, but that didn't stop the president from reacting Friday morning.

White House staffers were frightened as Comey began to testify before the Senate, according to a report by McClatchy DC. When the testimony ended and a consensus was gradually reached within the White House that things had not been made worse for them, a feeling of relief began to spread. As one former Trump adviser who is in contact with the White House told McClatchy, "No new real information came to light. I don’t think anyone sees this as adding any more to the legal process . . . They dodged a bullet."

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As Comey was testifying, Trump himself told his legal team on Thursday that "I was right," according to a report by The New York Times. He seemed particularly encouraged by Comey admitting that he had leaked information to the media through an intermediary and that he had concerns about how former attorney general Loretta Lynch conducted herself during the Clinton email investigation. He also reportedly felt vindicated by Comey saying that Trump himself was not personally under investigation, a feeling that was shared by many staffers at the White House.

Perhaps most uncharacteristically for Trump, the president was able to refrain from tweeting his thoughts during the Comey testimony, and is reported to have only watched roughly 45 minutes of the hearing. Even during that time, much of it was spent being watched by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz. Trump was kept busy all day, even as White House staffers huddled around TV screens and expressed satisfaction with how Republican Senators handled Comey — although their reactions were somewhat subdued by fears that they may be leaked to the public.

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Trump did take to Twitter on Friday morning, however, to express his thoughts to Comey's testimony.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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