Comey memos detail Flynn conversations, claims Russian tape reports could be 'made up'
Former FBI Director James Comey, in a memo recounting a meeting with President Trump at Trump Tower on January 6, 2017, explained it was the first time he had informed the president about reports “involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013.”
The revelation came in a series of memos released to congressional committees Thursday night and obtained by Fox News.
Comey said that while speaking with then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence and Trump, Priebus asked if there was anything “they should know or that might come out.” Comey said he proceeded to tell them about a private matter that outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wanted to alert to the president.
2018-4-19 Comey Memo - Enclosure Unclassified by Fox News on Scribd
Once alone in the room with Trump, Comey said he wanted to tell the president about reports written by a redacted name, obtained by CNN, and how he didn’t want Trump to get “caught cold” by the details.
“The Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013,” he recalled in the memo. Comey then said Trump interjected that “there were no prostitutes, there were never prostitutes,” adding that the president noted he was “the kind of guy who didn’t need to 'go there.'”
According to the memo, Trump was surprised that if the media had the reports, “he couldn’t believe they hadn’t gone with it,” to which Comey replied that they “would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports.”
Comey then told Trump that “the stuff might be totally made up.”
The topic of the Russian tapes appeared again in a second memo dated January 28, 2017, when Comey recounted a dinner he had with Trump in the Green Room at the White House from the night before.
Comey said that Trump “turned to what he called the ‘golden showers thing,’” and repeated that “it was a complete fabrication.” Trump proceeded to detail the day in question and how it would be impossible as he never actually stayed the night in Russia, according to Comey. He said Trump claimed he used the hotel only to wash up and change for the Miss Universe pageant, and later returned to retrieve his things before getting on a plane back to New York.
The former FBI director recalled Trump asking him to investigate the matter to prove that “it was a lie” but Comey warned that doing so might lead the media to believe wrongly that the FBI was investigating the president. “I wouldn’t want to create a narrative that we were investigating him, because we are not and I was worried such a thing would be misconstrued.”
In that same memo, Comey mentioned that Trump spoke about the “serious reservations” he had about then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Comey said Trump started to talk about an incident involving the redacted name of a leader from the redacted name of a country who called to congratulate him following the inauguration. Trump apparently claimed Flynn failed to inform him of the call.
“In telling the story, the president pointed his fingers at his head and said ‘the guy has serious judgment issues.’”
In another memo dated February 8, 2017, Comey said Priebus asked him during a “meet and greet” event if there was a “FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] order on Mike Flynn?” The answer was redacted.
Comey said Priebus asked about information leaks and whether they may have originated from the FBI, to which Comey replied it was “possible but extremely unlikely,” and that “every president is plagued by them.”
In that same memo, Comey said Trump claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin once told him, “'We have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.'”
In a different memo dated February 14, 2017, Comey talked about Flynn again during a one-on-one meeting with the President.
“He began by saying he wanted to ‘talk about Mike Flynn,’” Comey recalled.
He said Trump went on to explain his reasons for firing Flynn, adding that despite misleading the vice president, “he had other concerns about Flynn.” Comey also wrote that he said he was “eager to find leakers” and “nail one to the door as a message.”
At one point, Comey recalled Trump saying that “Flynn is a good guy” and that he hoped “you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Comey said Trump repeated again that “he is a good guy” and that “I hope you can let this go,” to which Comey simply agreed that “he is a good guy.”
Comey recalled Trump wanting to “go after the reporters” and saying that finding the leakers “may involve putting reporters in jail.”
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.