James Comey’s memos detailing his conversations with President Donald Trump were released on Thursday night — 15 pages of them.
The long-awaited memos, which Comey revealed existed after he was unceremoniously fired by the president in May 2017, provide an inside look at Trump’s previously undisclosed conversations with the former FBI director, and include a number of staggering exchanges.
These occurred over the course of a number of dinners Comey had with Trump in which the president requested the FBI chief’s loyalty, urged him to close the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and invoked the pee tape. According to the Associated Press, which obtained the documents, Comey found the conversations “so unnerving that he documented them in writing.”
Here’s a roundup of the most stunning and absurd information contained within the memos.
1. Trump discussed at length the infamous (and alleged) pee tape
In one memo, dated February 8, 2017, Comey informed Trump that the Russians “allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013. Trump protested: “there were no prostitutes, there were never prostitutes.”
Trump also brought up what he called “the golden showers thing” — allegations that the Russians have video of him urinating on prostitutes in the hotel room the Obamas once stayed in. He called the allegation “fake news.”
2. Trump said Putin bragged about the quality of Russian hookers
During a conversation about the “Golden Showers thing,” the president assured Comey that he did not pee on hookers when he stayed in Moscow. He did, however, divulge to Comey that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him, “we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.” Reince Priebus was apparently present for all of this.
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump makes a good point on this:
Trump on February 8, 2017 told Comey that Putin told him “we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.”
Unless I’m mistaken, they’d only officially spoken once at that point, in a call on Jan. 28. Putin talked about hookers in his first call with the new president?
— Philip Bump (@pbump) April 20, 2018
3. Trump joked about jailing reporters and having them “talk” after they “make a new friend”
In one conversation the pair discussed leakers (not that kind). Comey suggested clamping down on those leaking information about the administration by making an example out of someone — “putting a head on a pike as a message,” in his words. Trump “replied by saying it might involve putting reporters in jail,” according to the memo. The president continued: “They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk.”
“I laughed as I walked to the door Reince Priebus had opened,” Comey concluded.
4. Trump said Michael Flynn has “serious judgment issues”
According to one memo from a January dinner between Trump and Comey, the president said of his own national security adviser, “the guy has serious judgment issues.” The president would later fire Flynn for apparently misleading the administration about his Russia contacts, but he also repeatedly urged Comey to drop the federal investigation into the retired lieutenant general.
Read the full memos here.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com