Former FBI Director James Comey said he asked a friend to share the contents of his memos on conversations with President Donald Trump with a New York Times reporter. 

Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee this was prompted by the president's tweet after his firing about possible "tapes" of their conversations.

Comey said he "woke up in the middle of the night" and realized he should share the memos. 

"I asked him to [share it] because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel," he told Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

Comey said the friend is a professor at Columbia Law School. 

The former FBI director was fired on May 9. The New York Times report on Comey's memos was published a week later.

Watch the clip above and watch the hearing LIVE, here.

Comey Says He Was Directed by Former AG Lynch Not to Call Hillary Email Probe an 'Investigation'

'Lies Plain and Simple': Comey Calls Out Trump Admin for Saying FBI Was in 'Disarray'