Former FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that the Trump administration defamed him and the agency he led during his opening remarks at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, calling the accusations "lies, plain and simple."
President Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9 and said at the time that Comey was not doing a "good job." The administration also pointed to loss of confidence in Comey by the agency's rank-and-file.
Comey said Trump had previously assured him he was doing a "great job," and that he was confused by the shifting explanations from the White House for the timing and reasoning of his dismissal. At one point, Trump assigned Comey blame for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
"Although the lie required no reason at all to fire an FBI Director, the administration then chose to defame me, and more importantly, the FBI, by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader," Comey said. "Those were lies, plain and simple, and I am so sorry that the FBI work force had to hear them, and I'm so sorry that the American people were told them."