Donald Trump and the White House cannot get their stories over the firing of FBI Director James Comey straight, and now it appears that Trump’s claim that Comey sought a meeting with him—and what happened in that meeting—is false.
In an exclusive interview with NBC aired on Thursday night, Trump told Lester Holt that Comey requested a meeting to make sure his job was secure. “I think he asked for the dinner and he wanted to stay on as the FBI head and I said I’ll consider, you know, we’ll see what happens,’” said Trump. He also said that Comey, who has been overseeing an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, told him he was not under investigation, “which I knew anyway” (no he did not!).
However, those close to Comey tell a very different story. One former FBI official who worked with Comey told NBC News that “The president is not correct.”
In the New York Times, several associates similarly recounted that the White House requested the meeting, which took place seven days after Trump was sworn into office. Over dinner (during which Trump probably got one more scoop of ice cream than Comey did), Trump asked the former FBI director for his loyalty—a request with Comey, according to his associates, declined to give. Per the Times:
By Mr. Comey’s account, his answer to Mr. Trump’s initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said. Later in the dinner, Mr. Trump again said to Mr. Comey that he needed his loyalty.
Mr. Comey again replied that he would give him “honesty” and did not pledge his loyalty, according to the account of the conversation.
But Mr. Trump pressed him on whether it would be “honest loyalty.”
“You will have that,” Mr. Comey told his associates he responded.
According to NBC, Comey also rebuffed Trump’s questions about the ongoing investigation. “He tried to stay away from it [the Russian-ties investigation],” said the former official. “He would say, ‘look sir, I really can’t get into it, and you don’t want me to.’”
This is how Trump, who almost definitely lives in an alternate reality, reacted to the news:
Yes, Trump, when does it end?