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AP

The most important details from Comey's prepared statement:

  1. Close contact: The fired director says he spoke with Trump 9 times, compared to just 2 times while he served under Obama.
  2. Trump to Comey, on January 27: "I want loyalty, I expect loyalty."
  3. Trump to Comey, on Feb. 14: "I want to talk about Mike Flynn. ... 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."
  4. Trump to Comey, on March 30: "Lift the cloud"
  5. Trump to Comey, on April 11: "I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know."

Jan 6: Trump Tower

  • Along with other intel chiefs, Comey briefed Trump on Russian election interference. Afterward he remained alone with Trump, partially to minimize embarrassment, to brief him on the contents of the salacious but unverified dossier that was later published by Buzzfeed.
  • Assured him that the FBI was not investigating him personally. Documented conversation in a memo.
Jan 27: White House
  • Comey and Trump had dinner at Trump's invitation. Trump asked Comey if he wanted to stay on as FBI chief, and said "lots of people" wanted the job. Comey found that "strange" but assured him he wanted to stay on.
  • "My instincts told me… the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly."
  • Later in the dinner: "the President said, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.'" Comey explained the importance of independence and said, "'You will always get honesty from me.'" Trump replied, "That's what I want, honest loyalty." Comey said 'You will get that from me.'"
  • Comey was concerned there may have been a misunderstanding over the phrase "honest loyalty." He documented the conversation in a memo.
Feb 14: Oval Office
  • After a Oval Office counter-terrorism briefing, Trump said he wanted to speak to Comey alone.
  • Trump told Comey, "I want to talk about Mike Flynn." He said he felt Flynn hadn't done anything wrong in speaking to the Russians, and that while he had "other concerns" about Flynn he was a "good guy."
  • Later, 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."
  • Comey did not say he would let Flynn go, documented the conversation in a memo, and discussed the conversation with FBI leadership.
March 30: phone call
  • Trump calls Comey and expresses his concerns that the Russia probe was hampering his ability to do his job, asking Comey what he could do to "lift the cloud." Comey said the FBI would investigate as swiftly as possible, and that it was important to do it well.
  • Trump then asked why Comey had briefed Congress on the fact that the FBI was investigating possible coordination between his associates and Russia. He explained, and said he'd told Congressional leaders the FBI wasn't personally investigating Trump. Trump told Comey, "we need to get that fact out," and that he hoped Comey would find a way to do so.
  • Comey told Trump he would see what he could do, and briefed the acting deputy attorney general on the call.
April 11: phone call
  • Trump asked Comey what steps he'd taken in regard to their previous conversation. Comey said he'd referred the matter to the deputy A.G.
  • Trump later said, "I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know."
  • Comey did not ask what Trump meant. "That was the last time I spoke with President Trump."

Go deeper

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.