Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump Asked Comey to End Flynn Investigation; White House Denies Claim


The newspaper claims the information is contained in a memo written by Mr Comey shortly after a meeting with the President in the Oval Office in February, the day after Mr Flynn resigned. Yet he could not say why, after the conversation with the Russians, Tom Bossert, a high-ranking homeland security adviser in the White House, reportedly sought to alert the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

Trump asked to meet with Comey alone, following a February national security briefing involving Vice President Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said the person who is not authorized to comment publicly. "He is a good guy". Comey said he replied that "I agree he is a good guy" but said nothing to Trump about limiting the investigation.

A memo of that sort would be consistent with a practice Comey is known to have established earlier in his career of writing memos to document incidents that he found noteworthy or disturbing.

'The President has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. "This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey".

May 9, 2017: Trump abruptly fires Comey.

The existence of Trump's request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and FBI investigation into links between Trump's associates and Russian Federation.

Comey's memo, an apparent effort to create a paper trail of his contacts with the White House, would be the clearest evidence to date that the president has tried to influence the investigation.

Flynn was sacked on February 13 after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak about U.S. sanctions recently imposed on Russia; Flynn had been speaking with Kislyak during the transition period between Election Day and Trump's inauguration.

The panel's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, a constant Trump critic, called the allegation of Trump pressure on Comey "explosive" and said "it appears like a textbook case of criminal obstruction of justice".

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Trump later admitted in a television interview about Comey's firing that he was bothered by "this Russian Federation thing" and said he would have fired Comey regardless of the Justice Department recommendation.

The White House has grown suspicious about the volume and timing of the seemingly never-ending stream of leaks about the president, said one senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to reflect on the feeling inside the West Wing.

Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo.

"The shoes continue to drop, and every couple days there's a new aspect", McCain said in comments reported by the Daily Beast. Comey and his aides perceived Trump's comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret, even from the FBI agents working on the Russian Federation investigation, so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.

After the meeting, Comey's associates did not believe there was any way to corroborate Trump's statements.

After writing up a memo that outlined the meeting, Comey shared it with senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials.

Soon after the firing, a Comey associate told the AP that Comey recounted being asked by Trump at a January dinner if he would pledge his loyalty. But Trump's suggestion last week that he was keeping tapes has made them wonder whether there are tapes that back up Comey's account.

Flynn is a retired general who became a prominent Trump supporter and surrogate during the campaign.

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