Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted on Sunday that a central claim of fired FBI Director James Comey – one that could land the president in legal hot water – is completely false.
Comey wrote in a private memo following a February 2017 meeting with Trump that the newly minted president had asked him to tone down the investigative pressure on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Not so, Giuliani claimed.
Flynn was bounced from the White House after just 24 days on the job, an event Trump has said was a consequence of Flynn’s lies to the FBI about his pre-inauguration contacts with a now-former Russian ambassador.
Comey, however, has claimed the president asked him whether there was a FISA investigation into Flynn, and suggested he should go easy on the retired lieutenant general and consider ‘letting Flynn go.’
‘I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in,’ he told a Senate panel in June 2017.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ program that the president and later-fired FBI Director James Comey never discussed the idea of going easy on disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
Trump and Comey met early in 2017 and the two men’s recollections are different; Comey wrote his down in the car afterward
Comey has conceded in congressional testimony that Trump never ordered him to back off from investigating Flynn, who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his late 2016 contacts with Russia’s then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak
Trump’s exact words, according to Comey – who memorialized them on paper afterward – were: ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is good guy. I hope you can let this go.’
Giuliani said on Sunday that none of it ever happened.
‘There was no conversation about Michael Flynn. The president didn’t find out that Comey believed there was until about – I think it was February when it supposedly took place,’ he said on CNN‘s ‘State of the Union’ program.
Democrats have seized on Comey’s claim to the contrary as evidence that Trump obstructed justice by interfering with an intelligence investigation that could establish ties between the Trump transition and the Russian government.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s lengthy probe into such purported but unproven links has been a consistent distraction for the Trump administration. And Comey’s claims, made while he was working on a memoir that clobbered Trump, have escalated the tension.