WASHINGTON — The White House is disputing a new report Tuesday saying that US President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump made the request to Comey during a February meeting. The newspaper cited a memo Comey wrote following the meeting.
“I hope you can let this go,” Trump said to Comey, according to the report.
Flynn resigned the day before the Feb. 14 meeting, after it was revealed he apparently had lied to his about the nature of his contacts with Russia’s ambassador.
Trump abruptly fired Comey last week. The White House gave a number of contradictory reasons for the dismissal, which raised controversy in Washington as Comey was in the midst of the investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The White House said the New York Times report Tuesday is “not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr.Comey.”
“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, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the White House said in a statement.
According to the Times, Comey wrote in the memo that Trump told him Flynn had done nothing wrong. But Comey did not say anything to Trump about limiting the investigation, replying, “I agree he is a good guy.”
Flynn was fired after misleading top White House officials about his contacts with Russia.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
The report came a day after the Washington Post reported that Trump had disclosed highly sensitive information obtained by a key US ally to Russian officials in a meeting at the White House last week, a day after Comey’s dismissal.
The information, pertaining to the Islamic State terror group and a reported plot to use electronic devices as explosives aboard aircraft, was said to be gathered by Israel.