Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” former FBI director James Comey said President Donald Trump seemed surprised by the “salacious” details in the Steele dossier.
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: When you told him the contents of the Steele Dossier, did you get the impression it was the first time he’d ever heard those allegations?
COMEY: Yes. And I didn’t give him the briefing on the whole Steele Dossier. My assignment was to brief him on a small part of it that was salacious and personal. And my sense was– I didn’t get a sense that he knew about those.
TODD: I want to re-ask a question that Reince Priebus asked you, and you said in your memo, why include that salacious part? If it was something that you thought was, you know, not that necessary to the investigation? Or did you think it was important that he knew?
COMEY: We thought it was important that he knew. And I say, “We,” meaning all the intelligence chiefs that put together the intelligence community assessment. We thought it was important that he know, because we knew, and we don’t want to be holding that back from the new president. And also, the F.B.I.’s role is counterintelligence. And so we do a defensive briefing, whether or not something’s true, just to let the person who might be the target of a leverage effort, of an effort by an adversary to gain advantage over him know that we have this information.
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