In prepared testimony for the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Comey will detail a series of meetings and phone conversations with President Donald Trump in 2017, as the former FBI Director says that he felt pressured by Mr. Trump to end an investigation of top Trump aide Michael Flynn, and that the President repeatedly asked the FBI to tell the public that he was not under investigation.
Here are some of the details from the former FBI Director:
1. Comey: President Trump asked him for loyalty. At a January 27 dinner that involved only the two of them, Comey said he told Mr. Trump that as the FBI Director, he was ‘not on anybody’s side politically.’ Comey quotes the President as saying soon after, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” That was followed by an “awkward” silence, according to Comey.
2. Comey: Trump asked him to drop Flynn investigation. The former FBI Director says that after attending a February 14 Oval Office meeting with other top officials, he was asked to stay behind by the President, who quickly made clear the topic. “I want to talk about Mike Flynn,” Comey quotes Mr. Trump, in talking about the investigation of Flynn, who had just resigned as the President’s National Security Adviser. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,” Comey quotes Mr. Trump. Comey’s take: “I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.”
3. The “cloud” of the Russia investigation. The next conversation recounted in Comey’s testimony occurred on March 30 in a phone call, as Comey says the President referred to the Russia probe as a “cloud” over his presidency. During that meeting, Comey says Mr. Trump asked multiple times for the FBI to publicly say that there was no direct investigation of the President. “He repeatedly told me, ‘We need to get that fact out,'” Comey recounted.
4. More concern about the Russia “cloud.” The last conversation between the two men was also by telephone on April 11. Comey says the President asked why there had not been any announcement that he was not under investigation, as Comey said he was told that “the cloud” was hampering his work as President.
5. There were other conversations not detailed. In his testimony, the former FBI Director says he “can recall nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months – three in person and six on the phone.” This testimony does not go through all of those – there is no indication given as to why those were not included.