Trump says USA committed to NATO's mutual defense pledge

"I'm committing the United States to Article 5", Trump said during a news conference Friday with President Klaus Iohannis of Romania in the White House Rose Garden.

Comey told the Senate intelligence committee Thursday about several one-on-one interactions with the president, during which he said Trump pressed him to show "loyalty", to back off on the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and to disclose that Trump himself was not under investigation.

Trump praised Iohannis for boosting his country's defense spending.

President Trump stunned both his own aides and the leaders of America's closest allies late last month when he departed from his prepared remarks and cut a sentence explicitly saying that he was committed to the mutual defense provision at the heart of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.

Under oath, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the president had asked him during a one-one dinner at the White House to pledge loyalty. The president specifically denied asking Comey for his "loyalty" early in Trump's term.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May, this year, delivered a scathing indictment of the president on Thursday at a congressional hearing.

Trump continued to be coy about the possibility of there being recordings of his conversations with Comey, which he has suggested previously.

Seven House Democrats, led by Rep. Adam Smith of California, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, sent Trump a letter Friday urging him to make an explicit commitment. Comey knew the whole thing could come down to his word against the president's, and he wanted the memos to serve as proof of his version of events.

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"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", Trump tweeted, "and WOW, Comey is a leaker!"

This is the first time since James Comey's hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee that reporters will be able to question Trump. "The European security environment has significantly evolved, and deterring Russian aggression is as important now as it has ever been".

Amid worries by Washington's European partners that the U.S. leader had not fully bought into the Atlantic alliance, Trump told reporters: "I'm committing the United States to Article Five". It was a stunning accusation, suggesting that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director had lied to Congress, while under oath.

"Yes, I was on Judiciary Cmte that impeached Clinton/sent him for trial in the Senate for matters less serious than the ones before us now", Inglis tweeted Friday. "I'm not going to say, 'I want you to pledge allegiance'".

Already, just past 6 AM this morning, the president claimed Comey committed perjury by lying, and called him a "leaker", which is inaccurate.

"I didn't say that, I will tell you I didn't say that, and there would be nothing wrong if I did say that."

Comey said he felt uncomfortable with the nature of his personal meetings with Trump, including a private dinner at the White House.

Mr Kasowitz plans to file a complaint early next week about Mr Comey's disclosure of conversations with the president, a person close to the legal team said on Friday.

  • Sidney Guerrero