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>> In prepared remarks released Wednesday ahead of his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee, fired FBI Director James Comey describes several encounters with President Trump that are now central to the question of whether Trump tried to interfere in an FBI investigation. They include a January 27th dinner at which Trump told Comey, quote, I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.
To which Comey recalled, I didn't move or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed, we simply looked at each other in silence. In another encounter, on February 14th, following a routine counterterrorism briefing in the Oval Office, Trump asked every other national security official and White House advisor to leave the room, except Comey.
Trump then brought up the subject to former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who had been fired after lying about his contact with a Russian official. Comey recalls Trump saying, quote, I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. Comey writes, quote, I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn, this account flying in the face of Trump's prior denials.
>> Did you, at any time, urge former FBI Director James Comey in any way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn? And also, as you look back.>> No, no.>> Comey appears to have kept notes of his meetings with Trump, and shared some of those notes with senior FBI officials.
But acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Wednesday refused to comment on what Comey told him of the encounters with Trump.>> I think I'll let Director Comey speak for himself tomorrow in front of this committee.>> Since November, what began as an investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the US election has expanded to include a probe of whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
Now, it could morph into whether Trump tried to impede that investigation. In a hearing Wednesday, Senators tried to press other national security officials as to whether the President also tried to influence them to impede the investigation, but they were tight lipped.>> I'm not gonna talk about theoreticals today.
>> I am not going to comment on that matter.>> I don't believe it's appropriate for me to address that in a public session.>> Comey's televised testimony, shaping up as some of the most hotly anticipated in the nation's capital in decades, begins at ten o'clock AM, Eastern time.