Quotes from former FBI Director James Comey during his testimony Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee:

Asked why he believes he was fired by President Donald Trump:

“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. I was fired, in some way, to change — or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a — that is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me. The nature of the FBI and the nature of its work requires that it not be the subject of political consideration.”


Asked about the White House explanations for his dismissal:

“And although the law 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 workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple, and I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them.”


Asked about his statement that Trump told him he hoped Comey would end an investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn:

“I mean, this is the president of the United States, with me alone, saying, ‘I hope’ this. I took it as, this is what he wants me to do.”


Asked why he gave a memo that he had written about a meeting with Trump to a friend to release to the media:

“I needed to get that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself, for a variety of reasons. But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”


After disclosing that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer to Hillary Clinton email investigation as a “matter,” not an “investigation”:

“That concerned me because that language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning. We had an investigation open at the time so that gave me a queasy feeling.”


Asked about Russian election meddling:

“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. And it was an active-measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that.”


Referring to Trump’s tweet that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes'” of their conversations:

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”