Former FBI Director James Comey told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he didn’t want to be alone with President Donald Trump after he asked him to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, reports say.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Comey told Sessions in February that the interactions between Trump and the FBI director were inappropriate and that the Attorney General should do more to protect the Bureau from White House influence.
Current and former law enforcement officials told the Times that Sessions could not guarantee that Trump wouldn’t try to talk to Comey alone again. In the meeting, Comey didn’t reveal specific concerns about his Oval Office meeting with Trump, the Times said.
It was reported last month that Trump “advised” Comey on February 14 to ease off the investigation into Flynn, which Comey reportedly noted in a memo shortly after the meeting. According to the memo, Trump told Comey, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go”.
The meeting took place one day after Flynn resigned from his post for misleading administration officials, including Vice President Pence, about the nature of his past contacts with the Russian Ambassador. Comey’s memo reportedly says he did not respond to Trump about the probe, but agreed with him that Flynn is “a good guy.”
The White House denied the memo’s version of events last month, stating that “this is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Comey”.
The former FBI Director is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday as part of its investigation into possible connection between the Trump campaign and Russia. Comey is expected to face numerous questions over his conversations with Trump before the President relieved him of his duty early last month.