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Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a question as he meets with the media after the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center at the Yanqi Lake venue on the outskirts of Beijing in China, Monday, May 15, 2017. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Putin offered political asylum to James Comey 'if he continues to be persecuted'


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday offered to give political asylum to former FBI Director James Comey if faces political persecution in the U.S.

According to Russian state media outlet TASS, Putin made the comment at a press conference in Moscow. "If he continues to be persecuted in this connection, we will be ready to provide political asylum to him, he should know about that," Putin said.

The Russian president's comments follow Comey's hearing last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The former FBI director told members of the panel that President Trump told him he needed his loyalty and to ease up on the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

At the hearing, Comey admitted to leaking memos detailing his conversations with Trump to the press through a "close friend."

Comey wouldn't be the first high-profile American to be offered asylum by Russia. 

In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, was granted political asylum in Russia after he leaked classified information. Putin compared Comey's decision to leak details of his conversations with Trump to the actions of Snowden.

"What's the difference between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?" Putin said. 

People took to Twitter to weigh in on Putin's comments.

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