Apr 19, 2018

What's in the Comey memos

Donald Trump.

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told former FBI Director James Comey at their private dinner in January 2017 that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn "has serious judgement issues," according to the Associated Press which obtained Comey's memos.

The backdrop: The memos were given to Congress by the DOJ on Thursday, and have been of high interest as special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation moves forward. Read them here.

From the memos:

  • During their private dinner: “The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear fashion…It really was a conversation-as-jigsaw-puzzle in a way, with pieces picked up, then discarded, then returned to.”
  • Comey writes that Trump asked him "whether 'your guy McCabe' has a problem with me, explaining that 'I was pretty rough on him and his wife during the campaign.' I explained that Andy was a true professional and had no problem at all."
  • After asking Comey to get out that Trump was not under investigation, he followed up with a phone call, per the memos: "I said that...he should have the White House Counsel call the Acting Attorney General and make the request. He said that was what he would do. He then added, "Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing, you know." I did not reply, or ask him what he meant by "that thing."
  • Comey told Trump during the dinner: "[H]e could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don't do sneaky things. I don't leak. I don't do weasel moves. I was not on anybody's side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense."
  • On Mike Flynn, Trump told Comey: "'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.' I replied by saying 'I agree he is a good guy,' but said no more."
  • Comey said to Trump, while discussing leaks, "something about the value of putting a head on a pike as a message. He replied by saying it may involve putting reporters in jail. 'They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk.'"
  • On the dossier: "The President said 'the hookers thing' is nonsense but that Putin had told him 'we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.' (He did not say when Putin told him this and I don't recall.)"
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