Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Tierney McAfee
June 08, 2017 04:21 PM

It was a day of high drama as people across the nation tuned into James Comey‘s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Viewers were rewarded with some memorable one-liners, including the ousted FBI director’s much-tweeted-about exclamation of “Lordy” and his comment that he prefers the company of his wife to that of President Trump.

Here are all the stand-out lines from the hearing:

  • Comey on why he first started taking notes after his meetings with Trump: “I was alone with the president-elect … I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document. That combination of things I had never experienced before … led me to believe I got to write it down and write it down in a very detailed way.”
  • On whether any other documentation exists of his meetings with Trump: “Look, I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
  • Comey on his regrets about breaking a date with his wife to have dinner with Trump: “He called me at my desk at lunchtime and asked if I was free for dinner that night … I hung up and had to call my wife and break a date with her. I was supposed to take her out to dinner that night. In retrospect, I love spending time with my wife, I wish I had been with her that night.”
  • On why he gave his notes to a friend for relay to the press, instead of directly leaking them: “The media was camping at the end of my driveway at that point and I was actually going out of town with my wife to hide and I worried it would be like feeding seagulls at the beach if it was I who gave that to the media.”

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  • On coming to testify as a private citizen: “I’m between opportunities right now.”
  • On the election-meddling by Russia that is at the root of the FBI investigation: “We have this big, messy, wonderful country where we fight with each other all the time. But nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for except other Americans … We’re talking about a foreign government that, using technical intrusion and lots of other methods, tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal … They’re coming after America … And they will be back.”
  • On Bill Clinton’s tarmac meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch spurring Comey to go public with the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server: “In [an] ultimately conclusive way that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something.”
  • On Trump’s awkward request for a loyalty pledge: “I tried ‘honest’ first … I tried to hold the line, hold the line, it got very awkward and I then said, ‘You’ll always have honesty from me.’ He said, ‘Honest loyalty,’ and then I acceded to that as a way to end this awkwardness.”
  • On Trump’s firing: “There was an explanation. I just don’t buy it.”

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