Weeks after taking office, President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE asked FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHillary 2024? Given the competition, she may be the Dems' best hope Trump draws attention with admission he 'fired Comey' Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE in a phone call when the FBI would publicly announce that he was not personally under investigation, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Comey, at the time, advised the president to go send the request to the Justice Department through the White House counsel rather than contact him directly.
The top cop, who was abruptly fired by Trump last week, had reportedly grown concerned over a number of interactions with Trump and other White House officials that he felt compromised the FBI's autonomy.
The Times reported on Tuesday that Trump had asked Comey during a February meeting to consider shutting down the FBI's ongoing investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
And before that, Trump had reportedly asked Comey at a dinner in January if he would pledge his loyalty to the president. Comey rejected that request and instead offered Trump his honesty.
Comey reportedly documented his interactions with Trump and other White House officials in memos that he passed along to his aides, according to the Times. Those memos depict a tense relationship between Comey and the White House.
In a letter to Comey notifying him of his termination last week, Trump thanks the FBI director for telling him "on three separate occasions" that he is not under investigation. But it remains unclear what Trump was referring to or whether Comey actually told him he was not being probed.
At the time of his ouster, Comey was overseeing the FBI's investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.