White House adviser Kellyanne Conway predicted that former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate next week will be a "clarifying moment" as President Donald Trump tries to push through the controversy related to the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.
Conway, appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” also left open the possibility that Trump might block Comey from testifying by invoking executive privilege.
The president shocked the political world last month with his abrupt firing of Comey, a decision he later said he made with the bureau’s ongoing investigation in mind. In the subsequent days and weeks, multiple media outlets reported that Comey had kept detailed, contemporaneous memos of his meetings with Trump, some of which allegedly included efforts by the president to get the FBI director to cease investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Aside from a brief farewell letter to colleagues at the FBI, Comey has yet to make a public statement since his firing. His memos detailing his interactions with Trump, as well as reports of his general thoughts and feelings toward the president, have largely been relayed by friends and associates to media outlets.
Those memos and other details of Trump’s interactions with Comey are certain to be a focus of his scheduled testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Thursday. Conway told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos that “we’ll be watching with the rest of the world” when Comey testifies, but also raised questions regarding Comey’s credibility by recalling the former director’s last testimony before Congress, which had to be corrected after the fact. The FBI last month clarified how classified information got on the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Hillary Clinton’s top adviser, Huma Abedin.
Asked directly if Trump intended to use executive privilege to block Comey from testifying, Conway said only that “the president will make that decision.”
“When Director Comey goes to testify, I think that will be a very clarifying moment. I would, again, repeat that his most recent sworn testimony had to be corrected almost immediately,” Conway said. “But it’s more important to have somebody testify under oath, frankly, than to have his friends and his former colleagues out there speaking to the media, not under oath.”