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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

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.