Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday invited President Trump to testify before Congress, taking the president up on his statement that he’s “100 percent” willing to speak under oath about his interactions with fired FBI Director James Comey.
“I’d like to invite the president to testify before the Senate,” the top Senate Democrat said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
Schumer, D-N.Y., acknowledged he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would have to confer with special counsel Robert Mueller, but insisted such testimony could be done in a “dignified” way.
Schumer suggested that testifying could help clear the “cloud” hanging over the administration with regard to the Russia probe.
It’s unclear whether McConnell would agree to seeking such testimony, and whether Trump would grant it. During the Friday press conference where Trump said he’d be willing to speak under oath, the president said only that he would be “glad” to speak with Mueller.
A public Senate hearing would be an entirely different spectacle – taking the drama surrounding Comey’s intelligence committee testimony last week to a new level.
While some GOP senators have indicated they could have questions for Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., voiced concern Sunday about the matter becoming a “circus.”
“I think it’s inappropriate for the president to testify publicly,” Graham said on “Face the Nation.” “If you want to come to the judiciary committee and testify under oath, we’ll put Comey right by you, it’d be the highest rated TV show in the history of the world — but it’s not good for our democracy.”
Trump, in saying Friday that he’d speak under oath, specifically rejected Comey’s claim that the president sought “loyalty” from him when he was FBI director.
“I hardly know the man. It doesn’t make sense. No, I didn’t say that,” Trump said.
Schumer said Trump should not only testify, but also release any “tapes” of White House conversations if he indeed has them.
“He ought to say what he means and if he does, we’ll take him up on each case,” he said.