Many Republican lawmakers wanted to wait and see react to former FBI Director James Comey's released testimony ahead of his highly anticipated Thursday hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
When asked to comment on Comey's testimony, in which he said President Trump asked him end the investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn, many members claimed they had not read the testimony yet or wanted to wait until after the hearing to comment.
"I'd prefer to comment after he actually gives it tomorrow," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. "I did skim it ... [Comey] takes meticulous notes."
In his testimony, Comey says that Trump told him during a dinner in January, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." He responded by telling the president that he would "always get honesty from me," adding that the president said that that was what he wanted, "honest loyalty."
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said that he didn't believe Trump was out of line in making that request of Comey despite the FBI's investigation of possible collusion between Russian election meddlers and the president's campaign.
"I would strongly doubt he's the first president to make that request of the FBI director," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. "I think any president would expect the Cabinet secretaries and the presidential appointments and the Senate confirmed appointments to be loyal. You can be loyal and still question the acts of the president. You got a responsibility and an oath of office, but you can at the same time — if you feel you can't be loyal, you can always resign. So I don't see a problem with that."
Comey also said in the statement that he told Trump three times that he was not personally under investigation, including once during the transition period and twice as president. However, other Republicans believe Comey's testimony only raises more questions moving forward.
"I think what I read raises more questions as to what was the intent," said Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. "I don't know. I'm going to try to watch it tomorrow if I can. I think there's just more questions that need to be answered from based on his statement today."
Jones declined to say if what Trump did reaches the level warranting a potential obstruction of justice charge, which some Democrats have argued.
Comey's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday.