"He's a leaker," Trump said dismissively. "Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction." He further denied ever asking Comey for his "loyalty," contradicting Comey's detailed allegations. "No I didn't say that," Trump stated abruptly, taking questions after meeting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Earlier, Trump, who had refrained from tweeting all day Thursday — even as Comey accused his administration of spreading "lies" and suggested Trump had attempted to influence the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — struck back in an early-morning tweet.
Trump also seized on Comey's revelation that he had directed a friend to release memos he'd written documenting his conversations with the president to a reporter.
"...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" Trump wrote at 6:10 a.m.
Trump also retweeted a comment from attorney Alan Dershowitz, who had written: "We should stop talking about obstruction of justice. No plausible case."
Although Comey refused to tell senators whether he thought Trump had obstructed justice, he suggested the special prosecutor recently appointed to investigate links between Trump associates and Russians would look into it — hardly a statement of vindication for the president.
In his first congressional appearance since being abruptly fired by Trump last month, Comey detailed months of distrust of the president and bluntly asserted that Trump had fired him to interfere with the probe of Russia's ties to the Trump campaign.
He said he'd carefully documented his interactions with Trump because he worried Trump would misrepresent them, and accused the administration of spreading "lies, plain and simple" about the reasons for his firing.
Comey's testimony underscored the discord that had soured their relationship. He painted Trump as a chief executive dismissive of the FBI's independence and made clear that he interpreted Trump's request to end an investigation into the former national security adviser as an order coming from the president.
Comey also revealed that he'd orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation.
Trump's private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on the admission, casting the former FBI director as one of the "leakers" set on undermining the Trump administration.
The attorney is expected to file a complaint with the Justice Department inspector general about the revelation next week, according to a person close to the legal team who agreed to speak before the filing on condition that the person's name is not used.
Kasowitz also maintained that the testimony made clear that Trump "never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone."
While Trump's staunchest supporters have tried to paint Comey's testimony as vindication for the president, few Republicans who don't work for Trump stepped in to defend the president's version of his contacts with Comey.