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At least 18 million US viewers tuned in for Comey testimony about Trump

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At least 18 million people watched former FBI director James Comey’s dramatic testimony on Thursday about his dealings with President Donald Trump, according to preliminary ratings information from TV networks.

U.S. broadcast networks interrupted regular programing to air live coverage of Comey’s more than two hours of remarks before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Early Nielsen data showed that 18.2 million people tuned in to the hearing on six broadcast and cable television networks. Updated figures with additional channels were expected to be released later on Friday.

Football’s Super Bowl, traditionally the year’s most-watched U.S. television broadcast, attracted 111 million viewers in February. Trump’s inauguration in January drew an audience of nearly 31 million.

During his appearance, Comey said he believed the president dismissed him in May to try to undermine a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign team and Russia.

Trump on Friday said Comey’s testimony showed “no obstruction.”

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The television ratings do not include the crowds that watched the highly anticipated congressional hearing at bars and restaurants around the country or online through services like Twitter and YouTube.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump uncorks bizarre rant on ‘clean coal’ in Oval Office: ‘When you talk minerals, it’s about digging’

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President Donald Trump on Friday uncorked a strange and nonsensical rant about the virtues of so-called "clean coal" during an Oval Office conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

When asked about the importance of Australia's mineral industry, the president praised the country for doing so much to extract resources in what he described in an environmentally friendly way.

"Coal, as an example, you're the leader of safety in coal digging and we've actually studied it," the president said. "We're doing a lot of coal. You have very little -- you have almost no -- used to have a thing, black lung disease, and in Australia you almost don't have it anymore, you've got all of the dust down."

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The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

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Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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