President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed that ousted FBI Director James Comey told him on three separate occasions that he was not the subject of an investigation by the FBI. Trump said that he asked Comey whether he was the subject of a probe.
“He told me that. I mean, he told me that,” Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an interview. “I’ve heard that from others.”
Trump also made that claim in his termination letter to Comey, in which he wrote that he “greatly” appreciated Comey telling him that he was not being investigated by the bureau.
In the interview Thursday, Trump said Comey made the assurance once in person during a dinner with Trump.
“I had a dinner with him. He wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on,” Trump said. “And I said I’ll consider, we’ll see what happens. But we had a very nice dinner. And at that time he told me, you are not under investigation, which I knew anyway.”
He said Comey made that assurance twice more in phone conversations.
“Did you call him?” Holt asked.
“In one case I called him and one case he called me.”
“And did you ask, ‘am I under investigation?'” Holt asked.
“I actually asked him, yes,” Trump said. “I said, if it’s possible, would you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, you are not under investigation.”
“But he’s given sworn testimony that there is an ongoing investigation into the trump campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government,” Holt said, referring to Comey’s testimony in March before the House Intelligence Committee.
Comey testified in the hearing that he was “authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm” that the FBI was “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
“Was he being truthful?” Holt asked.
In his reply, Trump appeared to distance himself from the campaign that got him elected to the White House.
“I know that I’m not under investigation. Me, personally,” he said. “I’m not talking about campaigns, I’m not talking about anything else. I’m not under investigation.”