|President Donald Trump|
American Bar Association (ABA)
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Posted Jun 09, 2017 04:02 pm CDT
President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he never asked James Comey to pledge his loyalty, and never told Comey to consider dropping the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russian officials.
Trump said he was "100 percent" willing to testify about his conversations with the former FBI director, report the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) ABC, The Associated Press and CBS.
Trump promised to reveal "in the very near future" whether he had taped his conversations with Comey, and said journalists would be "disappointed when you hear the answer."
Trump stated in a May 12 tweet that, "James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Trump had fired Comey three days earlier.
Comey had told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he hoped there were tapes to verify his version of events.
Comey had told the committee that Trump told him in a Feb. 14 meeting that Flynn was "a good guy" and he hadn’t done anything wrong in calls with the Russians. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump allegedly said. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
But Trump denied making that statement when questioned by reporters.
"I didn’t say that. I will tell you I didn’t say that," Trump said. "And there would be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everything I’ve read today."
Comey had also described a Jan. 27 dinner in which Trump reportedly said to him, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."
But Trump also denied that.
"I hardly know the man. I’m not going to say, ‘I want you to pledge allegiance,’" Trump said. "It hardly makes sense."
Trump’s denial echoed a statement released later on Thursday by Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. Yet Trump and Kasowitz both said part of Comey’s testimony had benefited the president, showing Trump was not being investigated for colluding with the Russians. And they both said the testimony demonstrated Trump had not obstructed justice. Read more