Fired FBI Director James Comey wrote a internal memo in which he said that President Donald Trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a source close to Comey told NBC News on Tuesday.
The memo was part of a paper trail Comey built documenting what he believed to be Trump’s campaign to derail the FBI’s investigation of alleged Russian ties to his presidential campaign,
A second source, a former federal law enforcement official, also confirmed the existence of the memo to NBC News.
The unclassified memo was first reported by The New York Times.
Neither NBC News nor The Times has seen the actual memo. But The Times said an associate of Comey’s read parts of the memo to a reporter.
The source close to Comey told NBC News that Trump told the then-FBI chief in a White House meeting: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go."
The Times reported that the conversation took place Feb. 14. Times reporter Michael Schmidt told MSNBC that Trump "kicked everybody else out of the room" — including Vice President Mike Pence — and made the request one on one.
The White House denied that version of events in a statement to NBC News, calling it "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."
Acting FBI Director Andy McCabe, who was appointed to replace Comey, testified before Congress last week that "there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date."
"Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution," McCabe said in response to a question from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
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