Apr 13, 2018, 7:00 AM ET

Comey says Trump asked if he could disprove salacious prostitute allegations in 'dossier'

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Former FBI director James Comey says President Donald Trump asked him to investigate the salacious allegations from the so-called “dossier” to "prove that it didn't happen" and said it would be "terrible" if his wife Melania Trump would believe them to be true.

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In an exclusive interview ahead of the April 17 release of his book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” Comey told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he met with the president to discuss the unverified allegations that the then-reality television star engaged in a sexual encounter with prostitutes during a 2013 trip to Moscow.

The interview will air during a primetime "20/20" special on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

PHOTO: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James ComeyFlatiron Books
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

The “dossier,” a 35-page document containing raw intelligence complied by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, includes a detailed and graphic account of the alleged encounter and even raises the possibility that it could have been captured on video.

Comey says that during a private, one-on-one dinner with Trump on Jan. 27, 2017, Trump brought up the dossier and said, “He may want me to investigate it to prove that it didn't happen. And then he says something that distracted me because he said, you know, ‘If there's even a 1 percent chance my wife thinks that's true, that's terrible.’”

“‘And I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there's a 1 percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’ I'm a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true. So, what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think [that] there's only a 99 percent chance you didn't do that?”

Comey said that Trump then told him, “I may order you to investigate that.” Comey said he preached caution.

“I said, ‘Sir, that's up to you. But you'd want to be careful about that, because it might create a narrative that we're investigating you personally, and second, it's very difficult to prove something didn't happen,’” Comey said.

PHOTO: President-elect Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 11, 2017.Evan Vucci/AP FILE
President-elect Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 11, 2017.

Comey said that he first told Trump about the dossier several weeks earlier at a Jan. 6, 2017, meeting at Trump Tower in New York City, in a private, one-on-one conversation after a group of intelligence agency leaders had presented the president-elect with information about how the Russians had interfered with the 2016 election.

Trump appeared less concerned by the attack, Comey said, than by how it could undermine his victory.

“President-elect Trump’s first question was to confirm that it had no impact on the election … and then the conversation, to my surprise, moved into a PR conversation about how the Trump team would position this, and what they could say about this, with us still sitting there,” Comey said. “And the reason that was so striking to me [is] that’s just not done. That the intelligence community does intelligence, the White House does PR and spin.”

According to Comey, no one in the room that day asked what next steps should be taken to stop the Russians from executing a similar operation in the future.

“It was all, ‘What can we say about what they did and how it effects the election that we just had,’” Comey said.

Comey said he then asked to speak with the president-elect alone to discuss the information contained in the “dossier.”

“I'm about to meet with a person who doesn't know me, who's just been elected president of the United States, [and] by all accounts, and from my watching him during the campaign, could be volatile,” Comey said. “And I'm about to talk to him about allegations that he was involved with prostitutes in Moscow and that the Russians taped it and have leverage over him.”

PHOTO: In this June 16, 2013 file photo, Donald Trump and Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady pose onstage after Brady won the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas.Jeff Bottari/AP Photo
In this June 16, 2013 file photo, Donald Trump and Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady pose onstage after Brady won the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas.

The conversation, Comey said, was “really weird,” resulting in what the then-FBI director called an “almost out-of-body experience.”

“I was floating above myself, looking down, saying, ‘you're sitting here, briefing the incoming president of the United States about prostitutes in Moscow,’” Comey said.

Comey did not reveal to the president-elect at this time that the information had come to light through opposition research financed by his opponents, “because it wasn't necessary for my goal,” which was merely to alert him the FBI had obtained the information.

“I started to tell him about the allegation was that he had been involved with prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow in 2013 during the visit for the Miss Universe pageant and that the Russians had filmed the episode, and he interrupted very defensively and started talking about it, you know, ‘Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?’” Comey recalled. “And I assumed he was asking that rhetorically, I didn't answer that, and I just moved on and explained, ‘Sir, I'm not saying that we credit this, I'm not saying we believe it. We just thought it very important that you know.’”

Comey said he tried to tell Trump that he didn’t know if the allegations were true, but wanted to inform the president that the FBI had the information.

“I said … ‘I'm not saying that I believe the allegations, I'm not saying that I credit it,’” Comey said he told Trump. “I never said, ‘I don't believe it,’ because I couldn't say one way or another.”

But when asked if he believed Trump’s denials, Comey remembered being mostly stunned.

“I honestly never thought this words would come out of my mouth, but I don't know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” he said. “It's possible, but I don't know.”

As of his firing, Comey said, the information remained “unverified.”

VIDEO: James Comey - An ABC News Exclusive Event Airs Sunday Night 10/9c on ABCPlay
James Comey - An ABC News Exclusive Event Airs Sunday Night 10/9c on ABC

News - Comey says Trump asked if he could disprove salacious prostitute allegations in 'dossier'

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  • Janine

    Where is the link to the full transcript?

  • doc suske

    Boy! I can't believe people can believe Comey- after all his proven lies. All "allegations" were just
    HIS opinion, no facts. (according to his notes, which no one can see)
    He's self-promoting to make $$$ like most swamp dwellers.
    His family marched, supported & voter for Hil- so, he's objective?
    Chaos in DC & USA is made up by MSM to discredit the Pres. How un-American is that?

  • Alexander Beal

    Once again Comey comes off as an incompetent childish moron. Glad this idiot is finally off the taxpayer payroll.

  • John Blutar

    Comey lives in a world of fantasies and favors. The book is the diary of a liberal's personal hell, their own minds. Real leaders clear a path for free peoples to create and succeed. We don't judge a man by the color of his skin. We don't check out their hands. Ain't nobody got time for that. There's work to be done, get out the way!

  • mv75

    ‘Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?’ Let's see.......
    Approximately 280 lbs., exposed skin painted orange, makes whistling
    sounds through his nose, bald with six feet of hair coiled and
    shellacked to the top of his head, and a mouth that puckers up like he's
    sucking a lemon when he talks, so yeah he does look like a guy who
    needs hookers. Luckily for him daddy made him rich so he can afford
    them.

  • John Blutar

    ... so says Harvey Weinstein's neighbor, James Comey. I heard Comey last night... And I remember thinking, I'm a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that I was checking out another man's hands.

  • Duck Bill

    Does anyone even care about this fool? NNNoooooooppppeeeee. Continue being brainwashed.

  • salharmonic

    Comey is a self-serving fool

  • gooojooo1

    you on the left are funny comley is just a hack for the dnc/hillary and should be in prison for adimitdaly leaking information all this is just damage control from an admitted liaer

  • migtex1234

    2 "devoted" hil folks, who would never tell the truth.
    Wow, some comments are soooo left, without any facts. Trump has expanded the marketplace, dropped the unemployment numbers, added jobs, etc.
    What do these sour folks want?
    Destroy USA? By dishonor of those who voted?

  • Sam's Empty Chair

    Truth? "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"

  • DudeZXT

    I suppose Hillary is his higher loyalty? Anyone that considers loyalty to her highness must be high on something..

  • Uncle Milo

    When indictments come out, Comey the weasel will be the first to rat out his friends.

  • vincehugh

    Watched the interview last night....wow, what a slime ball! Comey has such a huge ego that he became a tabloid inspired writer all for the purpose of making money from an attack Trump book. Being fired angered him so much, that he didn't care about anything other than revenge against Trump. He knew the media felt the same because Trump called them out and revealed their bias reporting to get Hillary elected, and took advantage of the media to help him sell books. A sad period in our history for the image of FBI leadership and media.

  • Billy D Eyles

    I am an Australian who has visited America nearly 20 times since 1976 and spent a lot of holiday money looking at the wonders of that country both natural and man made. Sadly I have seen the freedom and prosperity of that country dwindle over those years. IT appears to me that the Democratic Communist Socialist infiltrated party uses divide and rule to get votes. The media, hollywood and democrats what an oxymoron have stooped as low as you can go to get rid of Trump because Hillary who appears to have tone of baggage behind her wasn't elected. I can't believe how stupid and prejudiced the media is.. so America is lost and will further decay as China slowly but surely takes over.....wake up and take your country back or the swamp will continue to consume you all. Dump, stupid, a zealot or plain apathetic that seems to be the issues.. we the people.. the people don't seem to care too much.

  • Elena

    You don't remember your own motivation? Seriously?

  • bagio

    MAURY MAURY MAURY MAURY. DONNIE?????? YOU ARE THE FATHER. house help wanted.

  • bruce

    Now see why Comey was never trusted by the Democrats and now Republicans. More contradictions in this edited edition than I can count. Glad he's gone and I was a die hard Comey backer in the past. He's a bigger narcissist than Obama and that is a big narcissist!

  • Alex Jonestown

    These matters are so serious you must buy my book to learn more. Maybe him and Corey Feldman can put up a gofundme and make a movie out of it. SAD!

  • lambfound

    Typical Democrat - whiny, poor me, sanctimonious jerk. He, alone, trashed whatever respect he may have had. His career and life will always be the guy who lied and ruined the reputation of the FBI. Trump must be laughing up his sleeve at this weasel. I'm sure Comey doesn't have the guts to do an hour interview with Mark Levin. He would be eaten up and spit out. What fool would read this book of pablum? Honestly, I feel sorry for Comey's family. What a disgrace.

  • J House

    Remarkably, he said we are done as a country if he were to weigh a candidate's political fortunes on his decisions...but that is exactly what he did when he allowed his private conversations with President Trump (which is classified information) to be leaked to the media in order, in his words, for a Special Counsel to be appointed.
    Comey knew what the political fortunes of President Trump would be if a Special Counsel was appointed, which proves he is a liar.

  • joe schlag

    What is more likely? That our former Director of the FBI just suddenly totally makes up a story that Trump asked him to go out and prove that the Moscow hotel story was false? Or that Trump really did direct him to do that? Most people think that it is Trump and his associates who are the liars, crooks and bad guys. Not the FBI. Which then begs the question: Why would Trump have to beg the FBI to go out and disprove something if it wasn't true?

  • Jim D.

    Trump will respond to Comey's book with his own book. As soon as he finds someone to ghost write it for him.

  • SarahBeth2

    I won't buy Comey's book regardless of the number of days you run this stupid story.

  • c.g.

    Why is Comrade Trump so focused on this dossier if there is no truth to it? He sure seems obsessed with it.....Time will tell.....maybe when Mueller's investigation is over..

    LOCK HIM UP!!

  • The Outlier

    Trump is clearly only used to dealing with people whose only purpose in life is to protect him. When Comey presented the allegations in the dossier, Trump heard "Hey boss, here are some problems coming up for you, how do you want me to fix it Ain't I a good boy for bringing this to you?" What he SHOULD have heard was "Mr. Trump there are damning allegations making their rounds and you need to prepare your criminal defense." Trump was entirely unaware that he was speaking to the nation's top cop, one with the power and authority to investigate him. Trump thinks he owns everybody.

    It's funny that Trump 'demands' loyalty while making sure in every way that he never earns any from anyone.

  • ExtraStealth

    Go, Comey, go!

  • cyric0

    Comey book story pushed off the top.
    "Mission accomplished" - Trump.

  • Richard

    As soon as Trump starts to call Comey names and tell us " this is all a made up story " , we can take that as a sign of his guilt. I can hardly wait to read the book.

  • OliverWendellSr

    Comey can write a book, do some tours, make some money -
    Nowhere near as consequential for tRump as the situation with Cohen, which leaves him far more vulnerable and exposed - and is only becoming more serious each day.

  • YellowParrott

    Jim Comey, wants to be "viewed and respected", as someone that's relevant and legitimate, but write's a book that's boils-down to, tabloid journalism?!! WTH is this?

  • Jack25

    Everyday we are learning more proving the dossier is factual. Today found out Cohen did visit Prague and met with Russian diplomat. He lied about never having gone there. This is why Trump is freaking out about Cohen’s records. All the dirt on Traitor Trump is going to come out of it.

  • mickey2829

    I thought the f.b.i.was a crime fighting investigating outfit?

  • mtntrek3

    Rep's need help. Willing to vote Rep in 2020 depending on choices both sides. Donald needs to go back to his tower... get it up to code btw...

  • rightened

    Verified, unverified... if Trump steps on Putin's toes in Syria, we'll see what we'll see.