Comey: Trump asked me to 'lift the cloud' of Russia probe from him, Michael Flynn

Comey made the statement ahead of his Congress appearance, which is expected to be one of the most dramatic moments in Trump's presidency so far.

By
June 7, 2017 22:16
2 minute read.
James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

US President Donald Trump asked ex FBI-Director James Comey to “lift the cloud” on the Russia probe from him and from his ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to his opening statement released in advance of his US Congress appearance set for Thursday.

In one of the dramatic moments of the Trump presidency, Comey is due to testify Thursday about the circumstances of his recent firing by Trump.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


He will also discuss his personal conversations with Trump and his understanding of whether the president acted improperly in conversations about the probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.

According to the statement, in a March 30 telephone call, Trump called Comey and described the “the Russia investigation as ‘a cloud’ that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia.”

Trump then asked what Comey “could do to ‘lift the cloud.’ I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well.”

Trump then reiterated that the Russia probe was “interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated. I told him I would see what we could do, and that we would do our investigative work well and as quickly as we could.”

In a separate February 14 meeting, Comey wrote that Trump told him that Flynn “is a good guy and has been through a lot. He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President.”

Next, Trump said to Comey “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's statement said he replied “only that ‘he is a good guy.’ (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would ‘let this go.’”
Trump asked Comey to shut down Flynn probe: source (credit: REUTERS)

Comey then informed the FBI senior leadership of Trump’s requests.

He wrote, “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. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

He added, “Regardless, it was very concerning, given the FBI’s role as an independent investigative agency…The FBI leadership team agreed with me that it was important not to infect the investigative team with the President’s request, which we did not intend to abide.”

Comey also wrote about an earlier dinner with Trump in which the president demanded loyalty from Comey and the ex-FBI director made no promises, other than that he would be fair.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. C
October 17, 2018
A guide to the Jewish Republican House candidates in the 2018 elections

By JTA/RON KAMPEAS