WATCH: Comey says former AG Lynch urged him to refer to Clinton email probe as ‘matter,’ not ‘investigation’

WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director James Comey says that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch urged him to refer to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails a “matter” instead of an “investigation.”

Comey says in his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he was confused by the request and it was one of the reasons he felt the need to publicly announce his findings in the Clinton email case.

READ MORE: What to watch for in Comey’s Senate testimony

Comey says the other major factor was Lynch’s meeting with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of an Arizona airport. Comey says he had to announce his findings to protect the credibility of the FBI and the Justice Department.

WATCH: James Comey testifies in Senate hearing on Russia