For all the unsavory details in the James Comey account of the president’s behavior, tonight the White House and some top Republicans see big vindication for Trump.

When all is said and done, Comey has now publicly gone on record with what Trump always wanted him to say but which he wouldn’t or couldn’t for the past four months -– resolving the core irritant for Trump since he’s taken office — declaring that he told Trump he’s not personally under investigation by the FBI.

In essence, Comey says the Trump encounters — nine one-on-ones over four months — were uncomfortable, but not impactful. The investigations continued unimpeded. The conversations may have been highly unusual, if not grossly inappropriate, but not necessarily illegal.

In fact, Comey even reveals for the first time that Trump encouraged him in private to continue the FBI investigation into his associates: “The president went on to say that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out,” Comey says.

Read the rest of this analysis at ABC News

Read James Comey’s prepared statement before Thursday’s Senate hearing

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