On the eve of former FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, a new poll shows a majority of American adults have little trust in either Comey or President Donald Trump. Mr Flynn was sacked just weeks into Mr Trump's presidency for misleading Vice-President Mike Pence about conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US.
Following a counter-terrorism briefing on February 14 at the White House, a day after Flynn resigned from his post, Comey met privately with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office in which the president said he wanted to discuss Flynn. The mainstream media has been promoting Comey's appearance before the Republican-led committee, hoping that what he will drop bombshells concerning allegations that Russian Federation had hacked USA voting systems before last year's presidential election in an effort to help Trump and undermine Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Senate committee posted Comey's opening statement a day early.
[Trump] then said, "I need loyalty.' I replied, 'You will always get honesty from me.' He paused and then said, 'That's what I want, honest loyalty.' I paused, and then said, 'You will get that from me.' As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase 'honest loyalty" differently, but I decided it wouldn't be productive to push it further.
Ryan Goodman, a New York University law professor, called that statement "the most devastating revelation" in Comey's testimony. His dismissal, four years into a 10-year term, fueled claims Trump's ultimate aim was to quash the investigation and obstruct justice, potentially a federal crime or an impeachable offense. Trump's behavior was inappropriate. After discussing with Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership whether Comey should assure Trump he wasn't being personally investigated, they all agreed he should.
Mr. Trump has referred to the fact that Comey has told him that he is not under investigation - mentioning it in his letter firing Comey in May and in an interview.
-Trump invited him to dinner on January 27: "The President said, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.' I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression. during the awkward silence that followed".
"We must not lose sight of the fact that Russian Federation interfered in our last presidential election and that the Trump campaign may have colluded with it to win the White House", he said. "I wish him luck", the President said.
Comey says Trump then made his statement about loyalty.
Separately, National Security Agency director Mike Rogers said: "I am not going to discuss the specifics of interactions I may or may have not had with the President".
The president reportedly cast Flynn as a "good guy" and stressed that he hadn't done anything wrong in his calls with Russian officials, Comey said. He is a good guy.
Comey also says Trump told him that he "had nothing to do with Russia" and "had not been involved with hookers in Russian Federation".
Pointing to a March 30 phone call, Comey further alleged that the president described the Russian Federation investigation "as "a cloud" that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country" and asked what the former FBI director could do to "lift the cloud". Comey's similar refusal during his tenure to inform the public that the president was not being investigated is also clear evidence of the keep-my-job-at-all-costs game he was playing (if this game looks familiar, it's the exact same one he played when he took the fall for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch's refusal to prosecute Clinton in 2016). Comey told Trump he should make the request through official channels in the White House and Justice Department.
It was during that conversation that Comey said the president asked him what could be done to "lift the cloud" of investigation that was damaging his administration. He says Trump also volunteered that "he had nothing to do with Russian Federation, had not been involved with hookers in Russian Federation, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia" - referencing an unverified intelligence dossier detailing compromising information Moscow had allegedly collected on Trump.
Trump abruptly fired Comey last month.
Comey's prepared testimony does not full answer that question, though he does say he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to help prevent him having any direct communication with the president in the future.