In the days after James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump denied the former FBI director’s claims, telling reporters at a press conference last week, “James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said. And some of the things that he said just weren’t true.” Trump continued, ”And there would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I’ve read today, but I did not say that.”
Now it seems as though the president’s son may have corroborated Comey’s claim that President Trump told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
In an interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday, June 10, Donald Trump Jr. said that he thinks Comey misinterpreted President Trump’s words. “You and I both know my father a long time,” Trump Jr. said. “When he tells you to do something, guess what? There’s no ambiguity in it.”
“There’s no: ‘Hey, I’m hoping — you and I are friends. Hey I hope this happens, but you’ve got to do your job.’ That’s what he told Comey. And for this guy, as a politician, to then go back and write a memo, ‘Oh, I felt threatened.’ He felt so threatened, but he didn’t do anything,” Trump Jr. continued.
Donald Trump Jr.’s statement that President Trump expressed his hope that the FBI would “let this go” is a direct contradiction to the president’s claim that he “did not say that.” The younger Trump’s statement also contradicts a claim by the president’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, who categorically said that President Trump “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that Mr. Comey ‘let Michael Flynn go’” per Business Insider.
While his statement undercuts his father’s claim that he never told Comey he hoped the Flynn matter would be let go, Donald Trump Jr. has echoes Trump’s second statement that his hope to Comey was not a command.
With less debate over what President Trump said, the question becomes one of context and how the message was delivered. Unless there are tapes of the conversations, the dispute will remain centered on who people choose to trust more.