WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is disputing a report that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The New York Times says Trump made the request to Comey during a February meeting. The newspaper cites a memo Comey wrote following the meeting.
Trump fired Comey last week.
The White House says the report is “not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”
The White House says that while the president has repeatedly expressed his view that Flynn is a “decent man,” he has never asked Comey or anyone else to end any investigations involving him.
Flynn was fired after misleading top White House officials about his contacts with Russia.
The Republican chairman of the House oversight committee is requesting that the FBI turn over all documents and recordings that detail communications between Comey and President Trump.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says in a letter to the FBI that he’s making the request to determine whether the president attempted to influence or impede the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Chaffetz’s letter comes just hours after the disclosure that Comey drafted a memo that detailed how Trump had asked him to shut down the Flynn investigation.
Chaffetz’s letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requests all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings that relate to any communications between Comey and the president.
The letter gives the FBI a week to produce the records.
Meantime, some Republicans are voicing support for President Trump.
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, says he wants to see more details, but he believes “this is another example of whatever Trump does gets the worst possible spin.”
Farenthold says Comey would have been duty-bound to report to the Justice Department any command to stop the investigation.
He says there’s a difference between “`Hey, Flynn’s a good guy, it would be nice if you cut him a break’ as opposed to `I’m the president. Quit investigating, damn it.”‘
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., says he too wants more details, but he also notes that Trump’s standing with South Carolina Republicans has “actually grown.”
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