Trump pressed James Comey to close FBI inquiry into former adviser Michael Flynn

WASHINGTON – President Trump pressed James Comey to shut down the agency’s inquiry into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, said a person who has reviewed the notes the now-fired FBI director took of the unusual encounter. Trump asked to meet with Comey alone, following a February national security briefing involving Vice President Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said the person who is not authorized to comment publicly. “I hope you can let this go,” Trump told Comey in the White House meeting according to the person. It was an apparent reference to the bureau’s counterintelligence inquiry into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates — including Flynn — and Russian officials accused of seeking to influence the presidential election. The incident was first reported Tuesday by the The New York Times. Trump abruptly fired Comey last week, in a move Democratic lawmakers decried as an attempt to short-circuit the Russia investigation. Comey kept his own log of all his discussions with Trump because he was suspicious of the president’s motives, according to the source. The meeting in question took place Feb. 14, the day after Trump fired Flynn because he had misled colleagues – including Vice President Pence – about the substance of phone calls he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. The FBI has been reviewing Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak prior to Trump’s inauguration, in which he discussed sanctions the Obama administration imposed on Russia. Those conversations were secretly monitored by federal authorities, as are most communications involving foreign diplomats. Flynn initially denied… [Read full story]

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