Former FBI Director James Comey has slammed the Republicans for not speaking out against President Donald Trump's attacks on the probe agency, following his second round of questioning at a closed-door congressional interview.
"Somebody has to stand up and speak for the FBI," CNN quoted Comey as saying on Monday after his nearly six-hour interview with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.
"People who know better, including Republican members of this body, have to have the courage to stand up and speak the truth, not be cowed by mean tweets or fear of their base.
"There is a truth and they're not telling it. Their silence is shameful."
Comey's comments came after he was questioned on the Federal Bureau of Intelligence's handling of both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The former FBI Director also charged Trump and Republicans with damaging the agency's reputation and asserting that "damage has nothing to do with me".
"The FBI's reputation has taken a big hit because the President of the US has lied about it constantly," Comey said.
In the interview, Comey defended the FBI, saying he and the bureau made the right call in 2017 when he rebuffed Trump's requests to announce publicly that the President wasn't under investigation, an informed source told CNN.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Comey's comments in a series of tweets on Monday evening: "Republicans should stand up to Comey and his tremendous corruption - from the fake Hillary Clinton investigation, to lying and leaking, to FISA abuse, and a list too long to name.
"The President did the country a service by firing him and exposing him for the shameless fraud he is."
Comey's interviews are part of the Republican-led congressional investigation into the FBI's conduct during the 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton's email and Russia.