Lawmakers call for Comey to testify about Flynn request

'The President has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations.

After the meeting, Comey's associates did not believe there was any way to corroborate Trump's statements.

Comey, who was known to keep a paper trail of sensitive meetings, chronicled the president's request soon after the February Oval Office meeting with the president, an associate who has seen the memo told The Associated Press.

The development comes as the Trump administration faces questions over why and how the president fired Comey last week as the FBI was investigating whether Trump's presidential campaign was connected to Russian meddling in the election. The White House denies that account.

Mr Flynn was forced to step down from his White House post in February after it was learned that he had misrepresented to Vice President Mike Pence conversations he had with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period. But Comey did not say anything to Trump about limiting the investigation, replying, "I agree he is a good guy".

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In terms of whether Trump actually meant to obstruct an investigation, he says that "motive always matters" especially since this is a case of "he said, he said".

Graham also said he would consider a special prosecutor if Comey's recounting of the meeting was accurate.

Comey, appointed as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2013 by President Barack Obama, spoke often about his desire to be as transparent as possible about Federal Bureau of Investigation actions and about proving to the public that his agency was independent, competent and thorough. "We're not considering whose ox will be gored by this action or that action, whose fortunes will be helped by this or that - we just don't care and we can't care". It is unclear whether Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.

As FBI director, he was accustomed to hours-long oversight hearings before Congress covering a wide range of topics.

The person who described the Comey memo to the AP was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Comey created several memos of encounters with Trump to ensure that a record would exist of conversations he found odd or troubling, according to the person.

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Leaders of the congressional investigations into Russian meddling into the United States election past year are also calling on Comey to testify.

Last week, Trump fired Comey over what he said was the handling of Clinton's emails. He also tweeted a veiled threat last Friday warning the ex-director against leaking information. At that dinner, on January 27, Trump asked Comey at least two times for a pledge of loyalty, which Comey declined, according to one of Comey's associates. McMaster said the information Trump divulged to the Russians was "wholly appropriate" while speaking to reporters Tuesday.

"As President I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety", Trump said on Twitter.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", the President said to Mr Comey during that meeting, according to the memo.

The White House is disputing a report that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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