During Thursday’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, former FBI Director James Comey stated nine times that he could be “wrong” on various matters, including central points in the probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Here are each of those nine times, presented in the order of Comey’s testimony:
1 – Asked by Sen. Mark Warner to clarify Comey’s claim that he believed President Trump was seeking to “create some sort of patronage relationship” by inviting him to a one-on-one dinner at the White House, Comey offered his response with the qualification that he could be “wrong.”
Well, my impression, and again it’s my impression, I could always be wrong but my common sense told me what was going on is, either he had concluded or someone had told him that you didn’t, you’ve already asked Comey to stay, and you didn’t get anything for it. And that the dinner was an effort to build a relationship, in fact, he asked specifically, of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay.
2 – Comey used the “wrong” qualification when he further interpreted Trump’s intentions at the same dinner:
My common sense, again I could be wrong but my common sense told me what’s going on here is, he’s looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job.
3 – Comey said he could be “wrong” about his interpretation of an instance on January 6 in which Trump allegedly asked Comey to speak with him alone after a meeting at a conference room at Trump Tower.
My impression was something big is about to happen. I need to remember every single word that is spoken, and again, I could be wrong, I’m 56 years old, I’ve been, seen a few things, my sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn’t be leaving which was why he was leaving and I don’t know Kushner well but I think he picked up on the same thing so I knew something was about to happen that I needed to pay very close attention to.
4 – Asked why he thought he was fired from his position as FBI chief, Comey replied:
I guess I don’t know for sure. I believe — I think the president, at his word, that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. Something about the way I was conducting it, the president felt created pressure on him that he wanted to relieve. Again, I didn’t know that at the time. I watched his interview. I read the press accounts of his conversations. I take him at his word there. Look, I could be wrong. Maybe he’s saying something that’s not true. I take him at his word, at least based on what I know now.
5 – Comey was asked to interpret a statement that he claims Trump made to him in private in which the ex-FBI director claims Trump stated about an FBI probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn that “I hope you could see your way to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Well, the context and the president’s word are what led me to that conclusion. As I said in my statement, I could be wrong, but Flynn had been forced to resign the day before. And the controversy around general Flynn at that point in time was centered on whether he lied to the vice president about his nature of conversations with the Russians, whether he had been candid with others in the course of that. So that happens on the day before. On the 1, the president makes reference to that. I understood what he wanted me to do was drop any investigation connected to Flynn’s account of his conversations with the Russians.
6 – Comey was asked about a March 30 phone call in which he claims Trump asked him what the FBI could do to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation, which Comey says Trump described as impeding the president’s ability to govern.
I think what he meant by the cloud — and, again, I could be wrong — but the entire investigation is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on what I want to focus on. The ask was to get it out that I, the president, am not personally under investigation.
7 – Comey was asked whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions was aware of concerns about Flynn at the time Sessions was sworn in to the attorney general position. “I don’t as I sit here,” Comey responded. “I don’t recall that he was. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember that he was.”
8 – Asked whether he had conversations with Trump about the Russia threat that suggested the president was “taking that hostile action seriously,” Comey replied:
I don’t remember any interactions with the president other than the initial briefing on January the 6th. I don’t remember — could be wrong, but I don’t remember any conversations with him at all about that.
9 – Comey stated he could have the date “wrong” regarding an alleged phone call from Trump: “There was another phone call that I mentioned could have the date wrong, March 1st, where he called just to check in with me as I was about to get on the hospital.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With research by Joshua Klein.