Comey Testimony: Republicans Ready Talking Points Ahead of Hearing

by Hallie Jackson /  / Updated 
Image: James Comey
FBI Director James Comey gestures during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election campaign on Capitol Hill on March 20, 2017 in Washington. FileNicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images

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Republicans prepared a list of talking points to rebut statements and push their narrative as fired FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate intelligence committee Thursday.

The Republican National Committee's suggestions include that Comey’s publicly released opening statement show the former FBI director told President Donald Trump he was not personally under investigation.

Related: Key Takeaways From James Comey's Planned Testimony

The GOP strategy also includes lines that Comey had lost confidence among Republicans and Democrats, and Trump was justified in firing him; and statements from acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that there was no effort to impede the Russia investigation.

A Republican official told NBC News that they will aim to "use their own words against them," referring to Comey and Democrats.

The official said the strategy will be a three-pronged effort, including surrogates on a national and local level; a rapid response component; and a social media component.

The Republican official said the response has been planned since it was announced Comey would be testifying at a hearing following his sudden firing last month.

Republicans also plan to argue that Democrats and the media are using the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election as a means to obstruct the president's agenda, and that once the investigations are complete it will be shown there was no collusion with the Trump campaign.

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