From a definitive piece in truth-out
“Comey testified that he was puzzled by the fact that the president had, on “multiple” occasions, told him he was doing a great job and hoped he would remain at the post. Comey, who had repeatedly told Trump he intended to stay, said he thought the president was trying to create a “patronage” relationship by hinting that Comey’s job depended on pledging loyalty to Trump. “I got the sense my job would be contingent upon how he felt I conducted myself and whether I demonstrated loyalty,” Comey testified.
On two subsequent occasions, Trump called Comey and told him the Russia investigation was “‘a cloud’ impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country.” Trump asked Comey to “lift the cloud.”
Trump repeatedly urged Comey to “get that fact out” that Trump wasn’t personally being investigated. Comey testified, “The FBI and the Justice Department had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.”
When Comey didn’t halt the investigation of Flynn, Trump fired him. The next day, Trump boasted to Russian officials in the Oval Office, “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” adding, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
The day after talking to the Russian officials, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt, “When I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself … this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.””