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The Comey memo: Trump asked to end Flynn probe

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down the federal government's investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn on the day after Flynn's February ouster, per the NY Times.

The source: Comey wrote a memo immediately after the Oval Office meeting, which states that Trump said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go."

White House response: "While the President has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation."

Stay tuned: The NYT highlights two key facts: (1) Comey wrote a memo after every interaction with the president, including some that remain classified, so there might be more shoes yet to drop and (2) an FBI agent's notes are widely held up as admissible in court proceedings.

Comey intends to "go public" with the memos from his interactions with Trump, according to NBC's Ken Dilanian.

Why it matters: It's the biggest bombshell yet regarding Trump's flouting of presidential norms — in this case, allegedly attempting to use the power of the presidency to interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation.

Outlets confirming the NYT report: NBC, WaPo, CNN, CBS, ABC, Politico, FT, AP.

Jonathan Swan 12 hours ago
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Trump asked Netanyahu if he genuinely cares about peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump at the White House in March. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

In a phone call last year with Bibi Netanyahu, President Trump said something that shocked some of the people who helped prepare his briefing materials for the conversations. According to three sources familiar with the call, Trump asked Bibi bluntly if he actually cares about peace or not.

The details: Trump was pressing Bibi on the importance of striking a "deal" for Mideast peace. He'd read news reports about Bibi planning to build additional settlements to please his conservative base in Israel. Trump thought Bibi was unnecessarily angering the Palestinians. So, in the course of a longer conversation that was mostly friendly and complimentary, he bluntly asked Bibi whether or not he genuinely wants peace.

Jonathan Swan 12 hours ago
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Kellyanne Conway rises — again

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has never actually wanted the job of White House communications director, according to sources who've discussed it with her, but Axios has learned that she left many in the White House communications team this week with the impression that she'd be leading the team in some capacity.

Behind the scenes: Senior White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp convened an off-site team-building and planning retreat last week for the White House comms team. They held the session on Thursday at the General Services Administration building a couple blocks from the WH (the same building that once housed the transition).