Fired FBI Director James Comey, set to appear Thursday before a Senate committee investigating Russian election interference, will testify that President Donald Trump said to him at a private dinner: "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."
That bit of testimony was part of a prepared statement Comey released Wednesday, a day before he is set to appear before the Senate intelligence committee.
While many lawmakers told reporters they hadn't yet read the statement, some reacted almost immediately on social media.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said the "whole thing is crazy." Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., tweeted, "Do they think we are going to allow the Trump Administration to muzzle the only people who can offer the American people the truth they deserve?"
GOP senators initially had more measured reactions. In a statement released by the Republican National Committee, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: "President Trump was right. Director Comey's testimony reconfirmed what the president has been saying all along — he was never under investigation."
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told NBC News he believes both Comey and Trump are men of integrity. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the statement was unsurprising in that it matches what has already been publicly reported.