The explosive testimony of former FBI Director James Comey did not only create a Twitter storm. It also boosted viewership and ratings of news organizations. The New York Daily News reported that 29.5 million viewers on ABC, CBS, and NBC, three major cable channels, and Facebook Live.

Another 18 million people in the U.S. watched on TV Comey discuss how the Russians interfered in the 2016 election and how U.S. President Donald trump tried to cover up the meddling, according to Nielsen data. Among the giant networks, ABC’s coverage attracted 3.295 million viewers, followed by CBS with 3.286 million, and NBC with 2.723 million.

Commercial-free coverage

Viewers enjoyed a front seat coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing without having to line up at 12:30 a.m. just to be physically present in the Senate for the testimony of the year. The almost three-hour coverage by the three giant broadcasters was commercial-free.

The cable news networks almost had the same numbers as the giant TV networks. About 3.096 million viewers watched the Comey testimony on Fox News, 3.049 million on CNN, and 2.719 million on MSNBC. On Facebook Live, the testimony had almost 11.5 million viewers across 32 channels.

Comey is a leaker

Besides the content of Comey’s testimony which was the topic of discussions in social media and mainstream media, people noticed the one-day change in Trump’s tweeting habits.

POTUS did not tweet the entire Thursday on the advice of his lawyer and senior aides. The next day, however, he immediately tweeted that there was no collusion or obstruction, but Trump accused Comey of being a leaker.

He repeated the accusation when he held a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. To explain the Russian investigation, Trump accused the Democrats of inventing the link between the Trump campaign staff and Russian officials as the rival party’s excuse for losing the election.

At the same time, the real estate billionaire repeated his morning tweet that the ex-FBI director is a leaker. However, Trump declined to answer directly if he had taped his conversations with Comey when he ordered Comey to stop the investigation on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He also demanded loyalty from Comey, according to the ex-director.

Trump, however, denied demanding loyalty from Comey and ordering a stop to the Flynn probe. Trump said he is willing to testify under oath and tell special counsel Robert Mueller what he knows to refute what Comey said.

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