U.S. President Donald Trump called former FBI Director James Comey "very cowardly" in an early-morning tweet June 11.
"I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible," Trump wrote. "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'"
Trump's tweet comes a few days after Comey's much-anticipated Senate testimony June 7. Comey testified that he memorialized conversations with the president after Trump hinted at the possibility of the existence of recordings from their meetings, according to The Hill.
Shortly after he was fired, Comey sent the memos to a close friend and law professor at Columbia University, who then leaked them to The New York Times.
"My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square,” Comey told the intelligence panel. "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. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel."
Comey also said he was afraid that Trump might lie about the nature of the conversations and felt it necessary to have his version of events on the record, according to NBC News. Comey noted that he never felt the need to memorialize conversations had with former Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush.
Comey said he hoped the leaks would help prompt the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Just days later, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to oversee the investigation.
Congress members in Washington are now raising the possibility of subpoenaing any possible taped recordings of the conversations between Trump and Comey, according to The Guardian.
"If there are tapes -- [Trump] alluded to the fact there are tapes maybe as a threat or taunting Comey -- he should make that public right away," said Chuck Schumer, Democrat from California, said on CBS' "Face the Nation." Republican senators have also joined in the call for any tapes to be released.
"We've obviously pressed the White House," said Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina described Trump's conversations with Comey as "frustrating," because Trump has distracted from information that could have exonerated him.
"You may be the first president in history to go down because you can’t stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet, would clear you," Graham said of Trump.