President Donald Trump is denying that he told former FBI Director James Comey that he did not stay overnight in Moscow during a trip there in 2013.
“I went to Russia for a day or so, a day or two, because I own the Miss Universe pageant,” Trump said in an interview Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends.”
“Of course I stayed there. I stayed there a very short period of time, but of course I stayed.”
Trump’s trip to Moscow is significant because it is there that the infamous and unverified Steele dossier claims that the former real estate mogul was recorded by Kremlin agents using prostitutes in a hotel room at the Ritz Carlton. The Democrat-funded dossier claims that the Russian government has used video of that encounter to blackmail Trump.
Comey told then-President Elect Trump about the dossier’s allegations during a briefing at Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017. Comey wrote a memo following that briefing in which he claimed that Trump denied staying overnight in Moscow.
“I don’t know what was in his head, I don’t know whether he was intentionally misstating a fact to me or maybe when he said it to me. He thought he had stayed overnight. But he said … that he thought he didn’t stay overnight, but he definitely said that,” Comey told CNN’s Anderson Cooper during an interview on Wednesday.
Trump claimed in his “Fox & Friends” interview that Comey “put a lot of phony stuff” in his memos.
“I stayed there a very short period of time, but of course I stayed. His memos said I left immediately, I never said that, I never said I left immediately,” Trump said.
The recent book “Russian Roulette” revealed new details about Trump’s Moscow visit. According to authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Trump had a “very short” window of opportunity to engage in the sex acts alleged in the dossier. The 35-page report written by former British spy Christopher Steele alleges that Trump ordered the women in his room to engage in a “golden showers” scene in front of him. (RELATED: New Book Fills In Gaps Of Trump’s Moscow Trip — And It’s Not Good For The Dossier)
According to Isikoff and Corn, on the one night Trump stayed at the Ritz Carlton, he turned into bed at 1:30 a.m. He had an appointment at 7:45 a.m. that same morning and flew out of Moscow later that day.
Trump was offered prostitutes during his Moscow trip. Trump’s longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller, has testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that a Russian businessman offered to send five women to Trump’s room. Schiller said that he rejected the offer. He testified that he accompanied Trump back to his hotel room and stood in the hallway for a short period before going to bed. He said nobody entered Trump’s suite.
Steele has acknowledged being unsure about the salacious claim in his dossier. According to “Russian Roulette,” he has said he is “fifty-fifty” on whether the incident occurred. (RELATED: ‘Fifty-Fifty’: Steele Is Unsure About ‘Golden Showers’ Allegation From Dossier)
WATCH: Trump disputes Comey’s claims about Moscow trip
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