Mere days after House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte threatened to subpoena the Department of Justice to obtain the memos compiled by former FBI Director James Comey detailing his interactions with President Donald Trump before being abruptly fired from his job, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released all 15 pages of the said memos to Congress — and oh lordy, they have some rather interesting revelations about the commander-in-chief.
Here are some of the most important bits from the so-called Comey memos, most of which are in line with the details revealed in Comey’s explosive tell-all “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”
1. Trump Brought Up The ‘Golden Showers Thing’ — A Lot
In January 2017, top intelligence officials briefed former President Barack Obama and then-president-elect Trump on claims that Russian spies allegedly had compromising personal and financial information about the business mogul-turned-politician. BuzzFeed then went ahead and released the entire dossier, which, among other things, alleged Trump once had prostitutes urinate on the bed in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow where Obama and his wife had supposedly slept on their visit to the Russian capital.
According to the Comey memos, the former business mogul allegedly mentioned the “golden showers thing” during three out of five meetings the two had together.
“I said, the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013. He interjected, ‘there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes,’” Comey wrote. “He then said something about him being the kind of guy who didn’t need to ‘go there’ and laughed (which I understood to be communicating that he didn’t need to pay for sex). He said ‘2013’ to himself, as if trying to remember that period of time, but didn’t add anything. He said he always assumed that hotel rooms he stayed in when he travels are wired in some way. I replied that I do as well.”
Trump allegedly brought up the topic again during the infamous White House dinner where he asked about Comey’s “loyalty.”
“At about this point, he turned to what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ and recounted much of what he had said previously on that topic. He repeated that it was a complete fabrication and ‘fake news,’” read the memos. “I explained again why I had thought it was important that he know about it. I also explained that one of the reasons we told him was that the media, CNN in particular, was telling us they were about to run with it. He said it bothered him if his wife thought there was even a one percent chance it was true in any respect.”
2. Trump Said Putin Once Talked To Him About Russian Prostitutes
Unless Putin told Trump this on 1/28/17 in their phone call— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) April 20, 2018
Yes, this is real life.
Shortly after the Steele dossier was leaked, former chief of staff Reince Priebus reportedly took Comey to see the president in the Oval Office where they discussed several things — including the allegation about Russian prostitutes.
“The President said ‘the hookers thing’ is nonsense but that Putin had told him ‘we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world,’” the memos revealed.
However, Comey explained Trump “did not say where Putin had told him this ...”
3. Trump Asked Comey For “Honest Loyalty”
He further elaborated on the said meeting in his memos.
“I responded by saying that he could fire me whenever he wished, but that I wanted to stay and do a job I love and think I’m doing well,” Comey recounted. “I explained that I never expected to be back in government but had found this job hugely rewarding and wanted to serve out my term. I added that I was ‘reliable’ in one way but not in the way political people sometimes use the term. I explained that he could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves. But I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense, which I said I thought was in the president’s best interest.”
4. Trump Said Russian Scandal Stopped His Health Care Bill From Passing
Trump told Jim Comey on March 30, 2017, that the House would have passed a repeal of Obamacare a few days before "but for the cloud" of the Russia investigation.— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) April 20, 2018
“He began by joking that I was getting more publicity than he,” the memos read. “I replied that I hate it. He then said he was trying to run the country and the cloud of this Russia business was making that difficult. He said he thinks he would have won the health care vote but for the cloud. He then went on at great length, explaining that he has nothing to do with Russia (has a letter from the largest law firm in DC saying he has gotten no income from Russia) was not involved with hookers in Russia (can you imagine me. hookers? I have a beautiful wife and it has been very painful) is bringing a personal lawsuit against Christopher Steele, always advised people to assume they were being recorded in Russia, has accounts now from those who travelled with him to Miss Universe pageant that he didn’t do anything, etc.”
5. Trump Had Concerns About Michael Flynn
Oh. My. God.— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) April 20, 2018
The day after @SallyQYates tells McGahn that Flynn is compromised, Trump tells Comey he’s concerned about Flynn’s judgment.
He knew. He knew Flynn lied not just to Pence but to the FBI. He knew and he still tried to get Comey to back off. https://t.co/EhPyRZSGkz
The president reportedly didn’t trust the judgment of his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who became the Trump administration’s first casualty after he was fired for allegedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak discussing U.S. sanctions.
“[Trump] then went on to explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgment and illustrated with a story from that day in which the president apparently discovered during his toast to Theresa May that [redacted] had called four days ago,” the memos revealed. “Apparently, as the president was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she had been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [redacted] had called [first, apparently]. It was then that the president learned of [redacted’s] call and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment or after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the president that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [redacted] of a country like [redacted] (‘This isn’t [redacted] we are talking about.’) He said that if he called [redacted] and didn’t get a return call for six days he would be very upset. In telling the story the president pointed his fingers at his head and said ‘the guy has serious judgment issues.’”
Days before Flynn's firing, Priebus allegedly asked the former FBI director if Flynn's communications were being monitored.
“Do you have a FISA order on Mike Flynn?” he asked Comey, according to the memos.
6. Trump Was Obsessed With Andrew McCabe
Comey memo: Trump used dinner to ask if "your guy McCabe" had a problem with Trump.— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 20, 2018
So POTUS had laser focus on FBI officials by name, even outside of his authority to fire.
Today we learn DOJ considering indicting McCabe.
The president also reportedly asked Comey about former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who lost whatever federal pension benefits he had earned when Attorney General Jeff Sessions suddenly fired him just two days before he was set to officially retire.
Trump was apparently concerned McCabe (and his wife) may have some issues with him.
“At this point he asked me [and asked again later] whether ‘your guy McCabe’ has a problem with me, explaining that ‘l was pretty rough on him and his wife during the campaign,” the memos read. “I explained that Andy was a true professional and had no problem at all. I then explained what FBI people were like, that whatever there personal views, they strip them when they step into their bureau roles and actually hold ‘political people’ in slight contempt, without regard to party.”
7. Trump Talked About Jailing Journalists
"He replied by saying it may involve putting reporters in jail." Comey says he laughed. ?? pic.twitter.com/6GMexMG0JL— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 20, 2018
Even before he took office, the former reality TV star and his followers blasted media outlets critical of Trump as “fake news” — a habit Trump has carried well into his chaotic presidency. However, this particular conversation he allegedly had with Comey is extremely troubling.
“[Trump] replied that we need to go after the reporters. And referred to the fact that 10 or 15 years ago we put them in jail to find out what they know,” Comey wrote. “And it worked. He mentioned Judy Miller by name… He replied by saying it may involve putting reporters in jail. They spend a couple days in jail. Make a new friend. And they are ready to talk.”
Meanwhile, this is how Trump has responded to the Comey memos:
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Lucas Jackson