The Comey memos were released to Congress on Thursday, and quickly “obtained’ by various press outlets. A lot of this was already revealed, known, or deduced before the release so, as big revelations go, these aren’t.
They are, however, an interesting look into the meetings that then-FBI Director Comey had with President Trump and then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. (Full document embed below, with typed-out excerpts below that.)
They detail, among other things, what Putin had to say about hookers in Russia, Trump’s concerns about people believing the “Golden Showers” story, his feelings about loyalty, his concerns about Mike Flynn, and the general manner in which Trump conducted their meetings.
They also show Comey not only put his trust in McCabe but urged the President to as well. Which may, oddly enough, be the most specifically damning thing in the entire document set.
The most troubling, though, were the Presidents aggressive remarks about jailing members of the press. (page 11 of the document below, excerpt typed out after the embed.)
It’s interesting, not earth-shattering really, and you can read the release below, and after the embed, I’ll highlight some quotes in case you can’t go through the PDF.
TRUMP’S COMMENTS ON THE FLYNN INVESTIGATION:
“‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.’ I replied by saying ‘I agree he is a good guy,’ but said no more.”
This bit was already known before the memo release on Thursday. But Trump also had reservations about Flynn’s judgement.
“He then went on to explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgment and illustrated with a story from that day in which the President apparently discovered during his toast to Teresa May that [redacted] had called four days ago. Apparently, as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she had been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [redacted] had called (first, apparently). It was then that the President learned of [redacted] call and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment or after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from teh [redacted] of a country like [redacted] (“This isn’t [redacted] we are talking about.” He said that if he called [redacted] [redacted] and didn’t get a return call for six days he would be very upset. In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said “the guy has serious judgment issues.”
THE PROSTITUTES THING:
“The President said ‘the hookers thing’ is nonsense but that Putin had told him ‘we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.’ (He did not say when Putin told him this and I don’t recall.)”
“I said that…he should have the White House Counsel call the Acting Attorney General and make the request. He said that was what he would do. He then added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing, you know.” I did not reply, or ask him what he meant by “that thing.”
ON LEAKS AND JAILING THE PRESS:
“I tried to interject several times to agree with him about the leaks being terrible, but was unsuccessful. When he finished, I said I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence. [NOTE: because this is an unclassified document, I will be limited in how I describe what I said next]. I then explained why leaks purporting to be about FBI intelligence operations were also terrible and a serious violation of the law. I explained that the FBI gathers intelligence in part to equip the President to make decisions, and if people run around telling the press what we do, that ability will be compromised. I said I was eager to find leakers and would like to nail one to the door as a message. I said something about it being difficult and he replied that we need to after the reporters, and referred to the fact that 10 or 15 years ago we put them in jail to find out what they know, and it worked. He mentioned Judy Miller by name. I explained that I was a fan of pursuing leaks aggressively but that going after reporters was tricky for legal reasons and because DOJ tends to approach it conservatively. He replied by telling me to talk to “Sessions” and see what we can do about being more aggressive. I told him I would speak to the Attorney General.”