The prepared written testimony that former FBI Director James Comey is set to deliver on Thursday morning vindicates President Donald Trump’s claim that he was told three times that he was not under investigation.
At the same time, the Comey testimony refutes reports by CNN and other outlets that Comey would dispute that claim.
When Trump fired Comey, he wrote: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
As Zero Hedge noted Wednesday, CNN reported on Tuesday that Comey was “expected to refute Trump.” Citing an anonymous source, CNN reported that “Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation.” Zero Hedge adds that CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger, said: “Comey is going to dispute the president on this point if he’s asked about it by senators, and we have to assume that he will be. He will say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so.”
However, Comey acknowledges in his prepared testimony that he did, in fact, tell Trump three times that he was not under investigation: once in a meeting at Trump Tower on January 6; a second time during a dinner on January 27 (which CNN says was “more nuanced”); and a third time during a telephone conversation on March 30. On a fourth occasion, in a phone call on April 11, the president said that he was not under investigation, and was not corrected.
CNN has now added a correction to the top of its story:
CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published.
Corey’s written testimony contradicts Trump’s account of events in one respect — namely, that Trump asked Comey for his “loyalty.” However, Comey’s prepared remarks add a new revelation, which is that Comey agreed to provide “honest loyalty.” He speculates that it is possible that he had a different understanding of that phrase than the president did.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.