FBI Director James Comey will not be attending this year's upcoming South By Southwest (SXSW) conference "due to scheduling conflicts keeping him in Washington D.C.," according to a SXSW news release.
FBI General Counsel James Baker instead will take Comey's interview spot next Monday in Austin, Texas.
“While Director Comey is now unable to attend, we’re still really excited that this important conversation will take place,” said Newseum CEO Jeffrey Herbst, who will join Baker in the SXSW discussion.
Comey was reportedly concerned Trump's allegations could cast the FBI in a poor light, according to a CNN source on Monday.
“[Comey feels] institutionally he has to push back on this,” CNN’s source said, citing the magnitude of Trump’s accusations and Comey’s certainty they are untrue.
It was also reported last weekend that the FBI had requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) to publicly dismiss Trump's allegations, which has not happened.
“[Comey] might come out and say only time will tell, but right now [the FBI and DOJ] should be in the exact same place and they’re not,” the source told CNN Monday.