The ghost of J. Edgar Hoover comes calling…
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times published on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he believes fired FBI director James Comey tried to use the infamous dossier of compromising material on his trip to Moscow as leverage to keep his job.
…allegations the president pointedly dismissed as “made-up junk.”
More from The Times:
Mr. Trump recalled that a little more than two weeks before his inauguration, Mr. Comey and other intelligence officials briefed him at Trump Tower on Russian meddling. Mr. Comey afterward pulled Mr. Trump aside and told him about a dossier that had been assembled by a former British spy filled with salacious allegations against the incoming president, including supposed sexual escapades in Moscow. The F.B.I. has not corroborated the most sensational assertions in the dossier.
“In my opinion, he shared it so that I would think he had it out there,” Trump said.
When asked if that implied leverage, the president answered, “Yeah, I think so. In retrospect.”
As for the contents of the dossier, Trump said he was not concerned.
“When he brought it to me, I said this is really made-up junk,” he told The Times. “I didn’t think about any of it. I just thought about, man, this is such a phony deal.”
Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee during his testimony in early June why he informed the president of the dossier.
“The [Intelligence Community] leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified,” Comey explained, according to his prepared remarks.
“Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the IC should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.”
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