Former FBI Director James Comey said he was 'stunned' when U.S. President Trump said he ''hoped you can let'' an investigation into Michael Flynn go. Comey added, ''Lordy, I hope there are tapes'' of the conversation. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: James Comey, the former FBI director appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that after President Donald Trump told him that he "hoped you can let" an investigation into Michael Flynn go, he took it as a "direction." Comey said he was 'stunned' by Trump's remarks. Comey was talking about a Feb. 14 meeting with Trump, after the president cleared the Oval Office to have a private, one-on-one conversation with him. Flynn had been forced to resign as national security adviser the day before, and during their conversation, Comey said that Trump told him that he hoped he could "see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." Although Comey said that Trump didn't say so in words, "I took it as direction." Comey said that he started taking detailed memos of their meeting after their first private conversation on Jan. 6. He said that "I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting and I thought it important to document." Trump tweeted on May 12 that Comey "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Comey said that after that tweet, he gave the details of the Feb. 14 meeting memo to a friend at Columbia University who could leak it to a reporter. Comey said that he hoped that the news, published in the New York Times on May 16, would compel the naming of a special counsel. That is what happened. His predecessor as FBI director, Robert Mueller, is now leading the probe of Russian interference into the 2016 election and possible collusion by members of Trump's campaign team. He said that he did not know whether Trump actually recorded their conversation, adding, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."