In June, during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey stated that during a dinner at the White House early in the year, Trump asked Comey to promise his loyalty to him. Comey stated that Trump said “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.”
Comey went on to claim that when he did not respond to the president’s insistence on loyalty, Trump revisited the conversation later in the evening. According to Comey, Trump reiterated again that he needed Comey’s loyalty, which led to Comey ultimately promising Trump that he would receive “honesty loyalty” from him.
Comey also stated that Trump’s requests did not stop with loyalty, the president also asked Comey to drop FBI investigations into Michael Flynn’s phone calls with a Russian ambassador during the transition, which led to his eventual dismissal as national security adviser. In a written statement Comey wrote that Trump said:
‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.’
Trump, however, has always strongly disputed that this exchange ever took place, claiming that he never asked Comey for his loyalty or to drop any FBI investigations.
While there was previously no one to corroborate Comey’s claims, Comey did previously testify that he had briefed some of his senior colleagues at the FBI about this odd conversation with the president, and it seems as though one of those senior colleagues is ready to back Comey up.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has been subject to numerous questions over the past week in regard to his interactions and conversations with his former boss, Comey. The conversations in question span from the FBI’s Russia investigation to its probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, according to sources with knowledge of McCabe’s testimony.
Within a private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, McCabe stated that Comey did, in fact, inform him of conversations taking place between Comey and Trump shortly after they had happened, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The importance of this testimony is the fact that it seems to suggest McCabe is capable of corroborating Comey’s account of the conversations taking place between himself and the president.
In recent days McCabe has come under intense scrutiny from Republicans, as text messages sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were released, with seemingly anti-Trump undertones. These text messages also included criticisms against Sen. Bernie Sanders and Chelsea Clinton. Multiple Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, have called for McCabe to be removed immediately, due to these text messages, and their belief the Clinton email and Russia investigations were not properly handled.
Democrats, however, believe that the Republicans outrage at McCabe and the FBI are nothing more than an effort to undermine Robert Mueller as his investigation kicks into high gear. Democrats also believe this could give Trump a cover, should he attempt to remove Mueller, despite the White House’s claims that that is not an option being considered.
McCabe has appeared for over 14 hours of testimony behind closed doors, within two sessions, before members of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Judiciary committees, to discuss these investigations.
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