The White House has pushed back against former FBI Director James Comey's assertion that President Donald Trump and his administration had lied about his firing.
On June 8, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. During his first public appearance since his dismissal from the FBI on May 9, the former director asserted that the Trump administration was not truthful about his firing.
"The explanations -- the shifting explanations, confused me and increasingly concerned me… [Trump] told me repeatedly… that I was doing a great job and that I was extremely well-liked by the FBI workforce," Comey told the panel, according to The New York Times.
The former FBI director asserted that the Trump administration "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."
On May 11, Trump blasted Comey's leadership of the FBI, asserting that the agency was in shambles.
"He's a showboat, he's a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil," Trump told NBC News. "You know that, I know that… You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that."
During his testimony before the Senate panel, Comey explained that he had penned a memo immediately after Trump allegedly asked him to drop a federal investigation because he was concerned about the president's honesty.
"I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document," Comey said.
The former FBI director revealed that he penned the memos because he suspected "there might come a day when I might need a record of what happens, not only to defend myself but to defend the FBI and our integrity as an institution and the independent investigative function."
Following the hearing, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted Comey's comments regarding Trump's truthfulness.
"I can definitively say the president is not a liar," Sanders said, according to The Hill. "I think it is frankly insulting that question would be asked."
On June 7, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 59 percent of registered voters believed that Trump was not honest, while 36 percent trusted the president's word.