Breaking News: Comey Memo: Trump told him to shut down Flynn investigation

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of the memo to a Times reporter.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to the memo.

Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, only replying: “I agree he is a good guy.”

In a statement, the White House denied the version of events in the memo.

“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

In testimony to the Senate last week, the acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, said, “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment.

Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.

More here on the Comey Memo

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140 Responses to Breaking News: Comey Memo: Trump told him to shut down Flynn investigation

  1. My God! Can obstruction of justice be anymore clear?

  2. Breaking: #DOJ appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in investigation into Russian interference in 2016 election.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Trump and Republicans Are On a Collision Course
    by Nancy LeTourneau May 17, 2017 2:30 PM

    One of the standard lines about our politics these days is that we are becoming more polarized and that a kind of tribalism has taken over the conflicts that would otherwise merely be thought of as disagreements. Most honest political scientists will acknowledge that this phenomenon has been more pronounced among Republicans, as William Galston and Thomas Mann suggested with the term “asymmetric polarization.”

    Right now, that is being exhibited in the overall response among Republicans to Donald Trump. At best, they remain silent about his behavior and, at worst, defend it.

    It is important to keep in mind that whether we’re discussing habitual lying, possible collusion with the Russians, obstruction of justice or the leaking of classified information to a known adversary, all of these issues are self-inflicted wounds from Trump himself. As investigations over these matters progress, is there any reason to believe that there will be no additional items to add to the list?

    Even those who chide the media for assuming that Trump will pivot or somehow become “presidential” often fail to acknowledge that his behavior will continue to produce these kinds of scandals, if not increase in severity. While I am often loath to make predictions, this one isn’t a stretch…that reality is almost certainly on a collision course with Republican tribalism.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Trump is Being Taken Apart, Step By Step
    by Martin Longman
    May 17, 2017 1:30 PM

    J. Edgar Hoover died when I was still in nursery school, but I knew his name from about that time. People talked about him differently than they talked about anyone else. He was fearsome and untouchable because he knew secrets about everybody, especially the politicians in Washington. He seemed like some kind of evil Santa Claus who could control people’s fate depending on whether they’d been naughty or nice, and apparently every adult who mattered had been naughty. Nixon finally resigned a few weeks before I started kindergarten, but my house was filled with much older people and they discussed Watergate while I played with my blocks and trains. Hoover had been dead for over two years by then, but it felt like he’d had an influence even from the grave. I had to wait more than three decades to get a confirmation of that feeling, but it came when Deep Throat was revealed to have been Mark Felt, the Associate Director for Hoover’s FBI, who felt like he’d been unjustly passed over for a promotion after Hoover’s death.

    Maybe James Comey shares little more in common with Hoover than former job titles, but he might be able to take down a president while he’s still living, and in broad daylight. For a lot of people, this is an example of a Deep State or an incompetent Establishment carrying out a coup that overrules the verdict the people made at the ballot box. And, it’s true, our clandestine services have been known to orchestrate coups and meddle in elections in other countries. The presumption in these cases is that this meddling is unjustified or even immoral, but I don’t know that people would have felt much differently about Watergate if they knew someone at the top of the FBI was leaking to Woodward and Bernstein. Nixon really had committed crimes and he really was committing more as he tried to cover his tracks. The way to make sure he was removed from office wasn’t to prosecute him. It was to make sure the people knew what he had done.


    We can debate who deserved their fate and who did not, but we should be clear that things look substantially the same regardless of which side is wearing the black hats. Trump is getting taken down in a way I began predicting he would when he began publicly denigrating the Intelligence Community’s assessment of Russian involvement in the election. I don’t believe this would be happening if Trump were trustworthy and competent.

    For example, had President Obama blundered by revealing sensitive information to the Russians that had been provided by the Israelis, the reaction would have likely been to quietly do damage control, explain to the president his error, and go on with the assumption that the mistake would not be repeated. When Trump did it, the damage control involved taking steps to remove him from office. How do I know this?


    I’ve been writing about this slow-moving coup in various ways for months now because its not well understood and it’s the most consequential thing going on in this country and the world right now. Nixon won a landslide reelection in 1972 even after many details of the Watergate burglary were reported, yet his efforts to obstruct justice were thwarted by leaks from the intelligence community. People generally don’t see this as a problem because Nixon was actually guilty and he was actually obstructing justice. But we can imagine a scenario where the intelligence community turns on an elected president because they disagree with him on policy and where the leaks are dishonest and the takedown is unjustified and undemocratic. It’s not a small thing to work for the president and then go running to the Washington Post to knife him when he screws up.

    In Trump’s case, though, his operation has been the subject of a counterintelligence investigation for almost a year now. He appointed a man on the Kremlin’s payroll to be our national security advisor. He’s giving out information to the Russians that could get Israeli intelligence assets killed, or prevent us from stopping a mass casualty terrorist attack on civil aviation.

    Nixon was abusing his power but we wasn’t endangering the country.

    So, the proverbial shoes will keep dropping. The grand juries will start producing indictments. The pace will continue to make White House staffers feel helpless and under siege. It will get ratcheted up, step by step, until the GOP resistance in Congress breaks.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Senior White House Official Corroborates Comey Memo
    by Nancy LeTourneau May 17, 2017 10:16 AM


    The silence suggests that there is something different about this story. But in the meantime, White House sources are floating stories anonymously, like this one:

    Sources tell us Kushner was a prominent voice advocating Comey’s firing & the President’s angry that move has created a firestorm @MajorCBS

    — Norah O’Donnell🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) May 17, 2017

    That’s the latest one someone has thrown out there in an attempt to get the president off the hook for firing James Comey: blame Kushner. Personally, I’m skeptical and would guess that it comes from someone in Steve Bannon’s camp, if not the Senior Counselor himself.

    But here is one that has some teeth:

    A senior WH official tells @PeterAlexander that POTUS wasn’t telling Comey to end Flynn investigation and suggest this is the way he speaks

    — Marianna Sotomayor (@MariannaNBCNews) May 17, 2017

    A lot of the twitter reaction has been to suggest that this takes us back to the old argument over whether we should take Trump seriously or literally. But that misses the point. A senior WH official just affirmed that the Comey memo is accurate by saying that this is the way the president speaks. That’s huge. As a reminder, here’s what Comey’s memo said about the president’s request:

    “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

    It is also important to keep in mind that Trump asked the room to be cleared of everyone but Comey in order to make that request—which indicates that the president took it seriously.

    I’m sure that when/if someone figures out the implication of what this senior WH official just said, they’ll be forced to come up with another lie. But there you have it…corroboration of Comey’s memo from the White House.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Comey’s Memo Is the Smoking Gun of Donald Trump’s Watergate
    By Jonathan Chait

    On the morning of June 23, 1972, Richard Nixon instructed his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, to contact L. Patrick Gray, the acting director of the FBI, and ask him not to investigate the Watergate break-in. “That the way to handle this now is for us to have [CIA Deputy Director Vernon] Walters call Pat Gray and just say, ‘Stay the hell out of this … this is ah, business here we don’t want you to go any further on it,’” said the president. [Correction: Haldeman said this, Nixon concurred.] The conversation remained secret until Nixon was forced to release a recording on the conversation on July 24, 1974. The recording, which became known as the “smoking gun tape,” had a seismic effect: Eleven Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee announced their support for impeachment.

    The New York Times bombshell report that James Comey has a contemporaneous memo describing a conversation in which President Trump asked him to halt the bureau’s investigation of Michael Flynn, the national security adviser who had resigned the day before, follows a similar pattern. Both episodes involve the president attempting to quash an FBI investigation into their associates. Both investigations pertain to crimes of which there is no proof the president had any involvement. Just as no conclusive proof ever found that Nixon ordered the break-in of Democratic headquarters during the 1972 election, there is not yet any clear proof that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia’s electronic break-in to Democratic electronic records during the 2016 election. The attempted manipulation of justice is, in both cases, the more serious crime.

    Comey’s memo — which is “two pages long and highly detailed,” the Washington Post reports — is the kind of document that would be admissible as evidence. In addition to the memo, the contents of which have been confirmed by numerous other news organizations, Trump has publicly suggested he has recordings of the conversation with Comey — a claim the administration has refused to deny or even to discuss in any fashion.

  7. rikyrah says:

    A source close to former FBI Director James Comey said that he didn’t write memos about his conversations with President Obama because the conversations were routine and Obama was truthful.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Trump leak to Russians violates protocol
    Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Republicans are processing the news of Donald Trump’s assorted violations, and how classified information is supposed to be handled with Russians.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Republicans not moved to action on Trump
    Congressman Jim Himes, member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the significance of the news that Donald Trump may have tried to pressure James Comey into ending the investigation into Mike Flynn.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: New subpoena issued in Trump associate investigation
    Rachel Maddow breaks exclusive news that a federal subpoena has been issued in the investigation of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Voters Favor Impeaching Trump by 7-Point Margin
    By Eric Levitz

    President Trump has never been popular. More than half of the country disapproved of the GOP standard-bearer on the day he was elected, and that vocal majority has largely persisted through all the days since.

    Which is another way of saying: Trump doesn’t need to be popular. Not electorally, anyway. His party’s structural advantage in the Electoral College — combined with our nation’s myriad barriers to voter participation — give candidates with strong support from elderly white people a decent shot to rule without majoritarian consent.


    But over the past few days, some cracks have begun to appear in Trumpism’s foundation. Last week, Quinnipiac found Trump’s support among white men falling significantly: In April, the demographic approved of the president 53 to 41 percent; one month later, that margin was down to 48 to 46.

    And a PPP poll released Tuesday portrays an even more severe erosion in Trump’s base of support. The survey shows that Americans wish Hillary Clinton had won in November by a margin of 49 to 41 percent — and that 10 percent of Trump voters now wish they’d elected Crooked Hillary.

    What’s more, the poll finds 12 percent of Trump voters saying that they would support the president’s impeachment. In total, 48 percent of Americans told PPP that Trump should be removed from office, while only 41 percent rejected that idea. This is the first time that the pollster has found plurality support for Trump’s impeachment.

  12. rikyrah says:

    The Malice of Trump’s Incompetence
    By Daniel Kurtz-Phelan


    That the disclosure came in a meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, adds a conspiratorial overtone to the entire episode. Suspicious interactions with Kisylak, after all, have already gotten Jeff Sessions and the untouchable Jared Kushner into trouble, and could land former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn in jail, despite Trump’s efforts to block the FBI investigation. Trump, one administration official told the press, “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.” But the impulse behind Trump’s loose talk may go no deeper than a desire to impress the guests he had just smilingly welcomed into the Oval Office. NBC’s Richard Engel quoted an intelligence official’s explanation that Trump was eager to show the Russians “how cooperative he wants to be with them.”

    Yet none of that allays the seriousness of the consequences. The first, and most immediate, is damage to the specific intelligence operation Trump bragged about. If the recent laptop ban on flights from the Middle East to the United States, and the administration’s accompanying explanations, are any indication, the source of the information was both sufficiently trusted and sufficiently well placed that it was acted on immediately. Now, the ongoing effort to track that threat is imperiled. A source’s life may be in danger. At a minimum, the flow of further information is hampered, if not destroyed entirely. “This means that some guy working on a laptop bomb relocates and is no longer in the orbit of these sources,” notes Daniel Benjamin, a senior Obama administration counterterrorism official now at Dartmouth.

    The disclosure also adds to already significant doubts among foreign intelligence services about the trustworthiness of the American government. Before Trump’s inauguration, there were reports that American intelligence officials were warning foreign counterparts to “be careful” about what they shared with the new administration, out of fear of where it might go from there. For foreign intelligence officials, yesterday’s news came as a chilling reminder of what could happen with information passed to Washington. There may be little in the way of overt complaints or explicit prohibitions against future sharing, since other governments still need as much, or more, intelligence help from us as we need from them. But they will think twice before divulging anything that might reveal key human sources, unique technical capabilities, or ongoing operations that could be upended by indiscreet boasting in the Oval Office or al fresco crisis-management at Mar-a-Lago.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Juliette Kayyem‏Verified account @juliettekayyem 3h3 hours ago
    Juliette Kayyem Retweeted Norah O’Donnell 🇺🇸
    Kushner pushed for Comey firing after stories broke about his sister in China and that the FBI probe was expanding to financial dealings

    • Liza says:

      Yeah, makes sense. All of them, including Trump, seemed to think that firing Comey would end the entire investigation. And the new FBI director would be someone more “cooperative”. Very third world dicatator-ish thinking.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Trump allies come up with the wrong response to the Comey bombshell
    05/17/17 10:57 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The day after Donald Trump fired his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, he reportedly had a private chat with then-FBI Director James Comey. According to a memo Comey wrote at the time, the president said, “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.”

    That, of course, sounds remarkably similar to obstruction of justice, leaving the White House to try to come up with some kind of defense. As of last night, Trump’s communications team released a statement – no official wanted to put his or her name on the document – that said, “[T]he president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation…. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

    This morning, however, reporters started hearing a slightly different defense. NBC News’ Marianna Sotomayor‏ noted on Twitter this morning:

    “A senior WH official tells @PeterAlexander that POTUS wasn’t telling Comey to end Flynn investigation and suggest this is the way he speaks”

  15. eliihass says:

    This is a serious post SG…but I haven’t laughed as hard as I did reading some of the comments…

    It’s helped a bit dealing with all of this stress and trauma that’s been inflicted upon us since the 2016 campaign began..

  16. Breaking: #Maddow A new subpoena has been issued in federal investigation into Trump associate Paul Manafort.

    • Ametia says:

      sit your AZZ down, somewhere, Jason C. How about you subpoena TRUMP & COMPANY’S SUPPSOED TAPED convos with Comey, HMMM?

  17. No one should trust him. He told Preet Bharara & James Comey their jobs were safe too. You can’t believe a thing Trump says. He’s a liar!

  18. I can hardly wait for @Maddow because I know it’s going to be LIT! 🔥 #ComeyMemo

  19. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    amh • 7 minutes ago

    folks talking bout was Cheeto intent criminal…did he know what he was doing may be wrong. OK WHY👏🏾DID 👏🏾HE👏🏾 ASK 👏🏾AG & VP 👏🏾TO 👏🏾LEAVE👏🏾

  20. rikyrah says:

    the IC has been holding its tongue….dropping in bits and pieces, hoping that the GOP would do the ‘ right thing’. They have been telling the GOP – get rid of him and his White House full of Russian assets, and we’ll leave you alone.

    The firing of Comey, in addition to him now betraying Israel, and probably getting Israeli assets KILLED…that has sent them to DefCon1

    Without cooperation from our allies around the globe, our people are in danger.

    • Ametia says:

      Wow, what a genius you are, Gloria!

      No he sent them out because one of them farted, and the other one had to take a crap.

    • eliihass says:

      Gloria came up for some air between churning out perfumed-outhouse style propaganda documentaries to legitimize and force-feed folks the buffoon by normalizing, glossing over and faux-romanticizing the stories and images of complicit daughter-wife and her equally complicit and enabler 2nd step-mother, while distracting from the treasonous and other vile acts being perpetrated…

    • eliihass says:

      At some point, folks need to come to the realization that this clinging to the idea that folk like McMaster are somehow patriots ‘suffering’ through a bout with the buffoon for the sake of country, is ridiculous…and bogus, to say the least..

      These people surrounding the buffoon are in taken first and foremost by the power and perks of undeservedly occupying positions they’d never have been in under normal circumstances…

      They get to on the tax-payer dime, jet around on Air Force One, enjoy lavish accommodations and exclusive access to whatever their heart desires…including in the next week alone, banquets in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Italy..

      None of them are about to give any of that up…

      Hopefully, someone lets the buffoon, his daughter-wife and her 2nd step-mother, and their traveling circus of alt-right cohorts, know that they’re not supposed to report, turn over, and not pocket the expensive gold jewelry bribes the Saudis will be offering…

  21. Trump thought he could come in and intimidate people like he did in his business. NOT TODAY, SATAN! #ComeyMemo

  22. rikyrah says:

    just a reminder….Israel was warned about Dolt45

    • Ametia says:


    • eliihass says:

      Told you fam, in the end, Comey is all about Comey…And Comey will do whatever it takes to first and foremost protect and look out for Comey..

      If the buffoon thought he had the monopoly on ultimate self-preservation, Comey will soon be conducting a master-class on how it’s done in politics and government..

      The buffoon will rue the day he tangled with Comey…who’s as petty as he’s smart and as good at navigating the petty, vindictive world of politics…a far different skill from the buffoon’s expertise in general petty and vindictive of shallow, day-care tumbles..

  23. TheWarner says:

    I believe this.

    • eliihass says:

      Darrell knows his gig is up too..

      The buffoon’s ignorance and treasonous shenanigans do not play well even to his dubious new money and Jim Crow surfer dude libertarian supporters in California…

  24. Ametia says:

    Don’t come for COMEY, unless he sends for you, #45!

  25. I told folks not to worry about Comey declining to testify before Senate Intel Committee. He’s an FBI agent. He knows how to take care of himself.

  26. rikyrah says:


    White House sources say Trump is cursing up a storm – ranting and raving. Yelling at staffers & using the “F” word. He’s losing it tonight.

    • Ametia says:

      Melt down, muthaphucka, MELT.DOWN

      • majiir says:

        You got that right, Ametia. Dude is probably, for the first time in his life, getting a dose of the sh*t he’s been dishing out to others for over 70 years. He deserves this. He really deserves this. As my dearly departed parents would say if they were still here: “The truth is the truth.”

        An aside: I see what is currently happening with Trump & Co. as a kind of cosmic payback for the way they treated PBO and his family. During the eight years of PBO’s presidency, GOPers rubber-stamped every vile word/action any of their members said/did about/to PBO. Trump saw what was happening, got in on the fun, expanded the range of Americans the GOP thought it was acceptable to attack without suffering any negative consequences, let anything in his mind out, and won the WH in 2016—using the GOP’s own tactics. Between 2009 and 2017, they “let the dogs out,” BUT, they are maybe only now beginning to realize that “letting the dogs” out during those years has come back to bite the them HARD in their collective *sses. At the current time, the dogs are running wild and sh*tting all over the place, and the largest pile is in the WH.

    • Liza says:


  27. rikyrah says:

    @sarahcwestwood 15m15 minutes ago
    .@FoxNews reporting on the air now that they can’t get a Republican member on the air right now to defend Trump

    • Ametia says:


      Test to see who’s willing to keep bringing their shovels to dig through #45’s DOO DOO.

  28. rikyrah says:

    @RonBrownstein 1m1 minute ago
    Comey/Trump memo: “This is a direct parallel to what was in the ‘smoking gun’ tape” in Watergate says John Dean on @CNNSitRoom @wolfblitzer

  29. rikyrah says:

    @MichLKosinski 6m6 minutes ago
    Donald Rumsfeld tonight on the string of developments: “I can’t believe it.”

  30. LindseyGrahamSC Why don’t YOU move your behind and get Congress to do something about it? And if you won’t then YOU QUIT! How’s that?

  31. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    From POU:

    lamh • 9 minutes ago

    Counter terror guy just said, that if your are the FBI Director then once you come from that meeting, you see the AG…then you are gonna say to the AG…did he just do what I think he did?

    This guy said the question for reporters is, what did Sessions know and did Comey go to Sessions about it aftewards…time to see what the AG says about this…esp since the memo alleged that conversation happened right after the briefing with AG and VP…

  32. rikyrah says:

    @markknoller 12m12 minutes ago
    Across-the-board, network newscasts leading with report of Comey memo that Pres Trump asked him to end Flynn investigation.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Comey exercising those Black Professional Sensibilities…


  34. vitaminlover says:

    Get him, Comey!

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