(CN) – President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the federal investigation of ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn during a meeting in the Oval Office in February, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening.
Comey reportedly documented the request in a memo he wrote shortly after the meeting. The Times says it has not seen the memo, but that it was read to a reporter by an individual who has a copy of the document.
The article quotes the president as telling Comey, “I hope you can let this go.”
If true, the memo is evidence the president tried to directly intervene in a Justice Department and FBI investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The White House responded to the report by issuing a written statement on background that flatly denies the assertions in the Times article and the purported Comey memo.
It says that while the President has repeatedly expressed his view that Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, he never asked Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving the former national security advisor.
The White House insists the Times account is not “a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey.”
The White House also noted that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe last week told a Senate committee that the White House as not interfered in any investigations.
Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, The Times said..
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment.