Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that President Donald Trump told him he was never involved with hookers in Russia, with Comey also saying that Trump urged the FBI to launch an investigation with the goal of discrediting this rumor.
In a written statement that Comey will read in person before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday, the former FBI director says that during a dinner with Donald Trump in January, the president said that he was considering ordering the FBI to conduct an investigation in order to prove that there does not exist a tape of him with prostitutes in Russia.
“During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them,” Comey said. “He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.”
Comey says that two months later, Trump called him at the FBI and the president again brought up the allegations of an explicit tape.
“He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia,” Comey says in his testimony.
In January, BuzzFeed published a dossier compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele, which contains a number of unsubstantiated and salacious allegations about Donald Trump, including that he hired prostitutes at a hotel in Russia and had them pee on a bed. The report also claims that the hotel room was being recorded and that Russia planned to use this tape in order to blackmail Trump.
“…TRUMP’s (perverted) sexual conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew Mr. and Mrs. OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him,” the dossier says.
The veracity of this dossier has been called into question, and the allegations have never been verified. Still, the idea of there being an explicit tape of President Trump in Russia has since become an online meme, even though there is little credible evidence that any such tape exists.
Comey’s testimony this week also details three conversations he had with Donald Trump over the course of several months, with Comey saying that Trump during a dinner asked for his loyalty.
“A few moments later, the President said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,'” Comey writes. “I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.”
In addition, Comey confirms in his testimony that he did indeed inform Trump that he is not personally under investigation.