Clashing accounts of a Jan. 27 dinner meeting between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey have come to light following Comey's dismissal this week.
Sources close to the recently fired director have said that Trump repeatedly asked Comey to pledge his "loyalty" to the administration, according to the New York Times.
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Comey reportedly told Trump he would always be honest in his position as FBI director. At one point, after being repeatedly pressured, Comey told the president he would always have "honest loyalty," the Times reported.
Trump and other administration officials have recalled the event differently, with Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, "We don't believe this to be an accurate account. The integrity of our law enforcement agencies and their leadership is of the utmost importance to President Trump. He would never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty, only loyalty to our country and its great people."
The differences extend beyond the content of the dinner. According to the Trump administration, Comey asked for the early January dinner in an attempt to keep his job, while associates of Comey told the Times that the dinner occurred at the behest of the president.
Comey reportedly told those close to him that the dinner was the beginning of the end of his time as the FBI chief, while Trump has described the dinner and the final days of Comey's tenure differently.
"Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey," Trump said during an interview with NBC's Lester Holt. "In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."