FBI officials challenge Trump’s account of dinner meeting with Comey: report

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Current and former FBI officials are contradicting President Trump’s statement that former FBI Director James Comey asked to meet with the president to request to keep his job, according to a new NBC News report.

In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired Thursday, Trump said Comey had requested a dinner with him during which he asked to stay on as the FBI head. Trump also said Comey told him three times — twice over the phone and once at their dinner meeting — that he was not the subject of any FBI investigations.

{mosads} “We had a very nice dinner at the White House very early on. I think [Comey] asked for the dinner. And he wanted to stay on as the FBI head,” Trump said in the interview. “And I said, ‘You know, consider, we’ll see what happens.’ But we had a very nice dinner, and at that time, he told me, ‘You are not under investigation,’ which I knew anyway.”

FBI officials contradicted Trump’s claims, saying the dinner meeting was requested by the White House, and a former senior FBI official said Comey would have never told the president he was not under investigation.

“[Comey] tried to stay away from [the Russian-ties investigation],” a former official close with Comey told NBC. “He would say, ‘Look sir, I really can’t get into it, and you don’t want me to.”

A current FBI official also confirmed to NBC that Comey did not request the one-on-one dinner.

“The president is not correct,” the former official continued. “The White House called him out of the blue. Comey didn’t want to do it. He didn’t even want the rank and file at the FBI to know about it.”

“He’s still the commander in chief. He’s your boss. How do you say no?” the official added.

The two officials also commented on a New York Times report that Trump pressed Comey to promise his loyalty to the president, saying that while they could not confirm the story, Comey’s refusal to pledge loyalty to Trump sounded in line with how the expect Comey would have responded.

The former official said, “That is exactly how I would expect the director to answer.”

The former official also refuted claims Thursday by White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that she had talked to “countless members of the FBI who are grateful for the president’s decision” to fire Comey.

“I doubt five people at the FBI even have the number of the deputy White House press secretary,” the former senior official said.


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