Trump also said that he asked Comey explicitly whether he was personally being investigated as part of the bureau’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“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.'”
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe did not confirm in a Senate hearing Thursday whether Comey did tell Trump that. Comey telling Trump he is not under investigation would be unusual. McCabe also disputed the White House’s assertion that FBI employees had lost confidence in Comey.
Just a month ago, the president publicly expressed his confidence in the FBI director.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein came to Trump at a meeting on Monday with concerns about Comey. According to that version of events, Trump then asked Rosenstein to give his recommendation in writing. Sanders claimed that Trump had not decided to fire Comey before asking for the memo and did not make the decision until Tuesday.
Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign colluded with Russia, and has even suggested that Moscow may not be responsible for cyberattacks on Democrats.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election, though the consensus among foreign policy experts in the United States and Europe is that Russian routinely interferes with elections in the West.