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May 18, 2017

*-- Reports: Comey's memo says Trump asked to end Flynn investigation --*

President Donald Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, during an Oval Office meeting in February, according a memo Comey wrote.

Sources told The New York Times and CNN about the contents of memo, but the news organizations reported Tuesday they have not seen the note.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump told Comey, according to the memo. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."

Comey wrote the memo detailing the conversation from the Feb. 14 meeting, the day after Flynn resigned, according to sources. The White House said Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
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The Justice Department is investigating meddling by Russia in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign staff.

Comey was alone with Trump after they had met with other senior national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing.

According to the memo, Trump first condemned leaks to the news media, saying that Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information. Trump reportedly then spoke about Flynn.

The White House officials refuted the claim Tuesday.

"While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn," a White House official said in a statement. "The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey."

Trump fired Comey last week, writing in a letter: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau."

Trump said in a television interview on Fox News that one of the reasons was because he believed "this Russia thing" was a "made-up story."

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