CNN's John King said former FBI director James Comey's "damning account" of how then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to handle her Bill Clinton tarmac meeting will not "get much attention because it's in the rearview mirror."
From Thursday's coverage of the Comey hearing:
WOLF BLITZER: He said that the words from the president and other White House officials about why he had been fired were lies, plain and simple, and he wanted to get the record straight. He also said that Michael Flynn, the fired National Security adviser, was in legal jeopardy.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Was in legal jeopardy and later on he said -- he was asked specifically about his statements to the FBI, do you have any reason to believe he gave false statements to the FBI and he said that's one of the reasons he was under criminal investigation. A number of significant things. One, this won't get much attention because it's in the rearview mirror but a pretty damming account from Jim Comey there about Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general in the Obama administration and her handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation.
It won't get much attention but that was pretty damming. Number two --
BLITZER: He said that Loretta Lynch told him don't call it an investigation --
KING: Call it a matter.
BLITZER: -- call it a matter.
KING: Call it a matter and he said he was confused by that and concerned by that. Number two, he also made clear he has turned overall of his documents to the Special Counsel which tells you -- we don't where it goes but it tells you as we speak today, an investigation that was about behavior in 2016, Russian meddling, did anybody in the Trump campaign circle collude or coordinate in any way with the Russians is now about the conduct of the president of the United States in 2017 in the Oval Office. When the Special Counsel investigation starts in its early week, as we know from past history, you don't know where it's going to go.
The other thing I found interesting is the Republicans did not challenge Jim Comey's account. Nobody said you are not telling the truth. Nobody said this didn't happen. What they tried to say was well, could you take it in a different context, that this is President Trump, he had fired Michael Flynn, he's a friend, he's a loyalist. Cut some guys some slack, not obstruct justice, just sort of be kind.
But it is interesting. They didn't say Jim Comey is lying. They essentially said, can we try to interpret this in a way that's much more kind to the president. But they did not challenge the basic facts that he asked for loyalty.
That he pulled him aside in the Oval Office after kicking everyone else out of the room and said, can you go easy or do something. And again, this is in a legal context now, people have to investigate this. Even as they tried to give a kinder view of this for the president, they didn't challenge the facts. They did not say at any point we don't think you're telling the truth. And a matter of fact they accepted what he was saying.