James Comey told President Trump on three separate occasions that he was not the subject of a counter-intelligence investigation regarding Russian meddling in the presidential campaign, according to remarks that the former FBI director plans to provide to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
In his prepared testimony, released by the committee, Comey says he provided those assurances to Trump during a Jan. 6 meeting at Trump Tower, in a dinner meeting on Jan. 27, and in a phone conversation on March 30.
Comey’s admission backs up Trump’s claim that Comey informed him on multiple occasions that he was not a target in the FBI investigation of potential Trump campaign collusion with the Kremlin.
Comey, who was fired by Trump on May 9, says that he was selected by the other intelligence community officials present at the Jan. 6 meeting to debrief Trump one-on-one about a dossier compiled by a former British spy alleging various misdeeds by Trump and members of his campaign.
“In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey plans to say.
“We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President-Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.
Comey will also testify that Trump pushed him to investigate some of the allegations laid out in the dossier, including that he hired prostitutes while in Russia.
That request came during a Jan. 27 dinner meeting at the White House.
Comey said that Trump “expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them.”
“He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen,” Comey will state.
He says that he then told Trump that “he should give that careful thought” to that request “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 will also tell Congress that he told Trump again in late March that the Republican was not a target of the Russia probe.
The conversation came a week after Comey confirmed in a congressional hearing that the FBI was conducting an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.
After Trump asked Comey about his comments during the hearing, Comey says he explained to Trump that he had briefed congressional leaders “on exactly which individuals we were investigating.”
Comey will also say that he “told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump.”
“I reminded [Trump] I had previously told him that,” Comey will state.
Comey says that Trump then repeatedly told him that “we need to get that fact out” about the Russia investigation.
Comey says that the FBI and Justice Department had been reluctant to comment publicly on the investigation for multiple reasons, including that he did not want to go on the record about the absence of an investigation into Trump in case that changed in the future.
This article has been updated with additional information.