Former FBI Director James Comey’s bombshell memos on his private conversations with President Trump and top White House staff are public for the first time. While most of what they contain closely matches what Comey has already shared publicly, there are some rather interesting nuggets of exactly what Trump allegedly said at the time — and some news about how his then-underlings acted.
Here’s what stood out:
Reince Priebus Asked About Whether There Was A Flynn FISA Warrant
Then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, after asking Comey if they were having a “private conversation” in a one-on-one meeting on February 8th, asked if there was a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on Flynn. Before the question, he told Comey to let him know if that was an inappropriate question.
Comey, after a pause, answered (what he said was redacted from the release), then told Priebus to go through official channels in the future for questions like that.
The timing of that conversation is as notable as the question itself. It came five days before Flynn was fired from his post as National Security Advisor, but a full 13 days after then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House that Flynn had lied about the contents of his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
A full week after that (and two days after Flynn resigned), Priebus reportedly requested that Comey and other senior FBI officials go public to dismiss media reports about possible contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian leaders during the 2016 campaign.
“The Golden Showers Thing”
Trump directly denied “the golden showers thing,” according to Comey in exactly those words, in a late January meeting with Comey where he demanded loyalty from the then-FBI director. Trump called it “fake news” and said it bothered him that there was even a 1 percent chance his wife, first lady Melania Trump, believed the accusations, asking Comey to investigate it to help him prove the claims wrong.
He brought up the same phrase in a February meeting.
Trump: Michael Flynn “Has Serious Judgment Issues”
Comey said in the same meeting that Trump told him that he had serious reservations about then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s judgment. To illustrate that, Trump told a story about Flynn interrupting him when he was saying British Prime Minister Theresa May had called him first to congratulate him on the election to say another world leader had called first, and that he’d called back six days later. Trump berated him for not responding to the call faster. He concluded by saying, according to Comey, that Flynn “has serious judgment issues.”
“The Hookers Thing”
During a February meeting, Trump said “the hookers thing” claim from the Steele dossier about his his visit to Russia wasn’t true — but said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had told him in an earlier conversation that “we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.” That’s notable given Trump’s previous denials that he’d talked to Putin during the campaign, though it’s unclear when exactly this comment was supposed to have been made.