WASHINGTON -- Fallout from James Comey's testimony on Capitol Hill is still being felt on both sides of the aisle, with President Donald Trump tweeting about it at daybreak Friday.
"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication... and WOW, Comey is a leaker," the president said.
On Thursday, Comey used his opening statement before the Senate Intelligence Committee to thank the men and women of the FBI and to apologize for not being able to say goodbye.
The embattled former director then took off the gloves as he presented his side of the story about his firing, the Russia investigation, and why he decided to leak information to the media.
"The administration then chose to defame me, and more importantly the FBI, by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly lead and the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies plain and simple," Comey bluntly told the Senate panel.
Senators asked the former FBI director why he thought he was fired?
"I'm not quite sure," he replied. "But I have to take the president at his word and it must have something to do with the Russian investigation."
Comey reiterated that President Donald Trump pressed him but never told him to stop the probe into ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. He added the president did repeatedly pressure him to publicly declare that he was not under investigation.
Comey noted that the president told him that if some of his satellite associates had done something wrong, it would be good for the investigation to find that out.
The former director declined to comment on whether he thought the president had obstructed justice, saying that was a determination to be made by the special prosecutor.
As for the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server, Comey testified that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directed him to describe the Clinton probe as only a "matter" and not an "investigation."
"It gave the impression the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work and the way the political campaign was describing the same activity. That was inaccurate. We have a criminal investigation open," Comey told the Senate panel.
In an unexpected bombshell announcement, Comey voluntarily admitted he orchestrated the leak of his memo about Trump to a Columbia University law professor who then gave it to a reporter.
Comey said he thought it might lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the Russia investigation.
Meanwhile, despite all the work and testimony that's already taken place, senators say this investigation is far from over.