James Comey has said it was possible Donald Trump spent time with prostitutes urinating on each in Moscow, a claim originally contained within the Steele Russia dossier and which the president has dismissed as “fake news”.
Mr Comey, who is promoting a new book many believe will dish the dirt on many aspects of his interactions with Mr Trump, said the president was appeared especially worried about elements contained in a so-called dossier that had been collated by a research firm, commissioned by a wealthy Republican donor and then Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Among the claims in the dossier was that Russian had obtained compromising material about Mr Trump during a visit to Moscow in which he was said to hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed in the city’s Ritz-Carlton hotel that had once been slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.
In the book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, Mr Comey writes that although Mr Trump had dismissed the accusation as rubbish after it was published by BuzzFeed, after he entered the Oval Office, he became particularly concerned about it.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’,” Mr Comey wrote.
“It bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true. … He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him.”
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Mr Comey was asked about this aspect of the book in an ABC interview that is due to be broadcast on Sunday night, and which a portion of which was trailed on Friday.
“Honestly, I never thought these 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.”
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He said he was shocked when Mr Trump said it would be very damaging for his marriage, if there was even a one per cent change that his wife, Melania, believed it could be true.
“I remember thinking, how could your wife think there was even a one per cent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other,” he said.
“I’m a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance my wife would think that was true. So what kind of marriage, to what kind of man, does your wife think there is 99 per cent chance it was not true.”
Mr Trump, who fired Mr Comey and his supporters, have been quick to dismiss the claims contained in the former FBI Director’s book. He said on Friday, Mr Comey was an “untruthful slime ball” who should be prosecuted for leaking classified information. “It was my great honour to fire him,” he said.
“He is a weak and unethical slimeball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter Friday: “One of the few areas of true bipartisan consensus in Washington is Comey has no credibility.”
White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway said Mr Comey “has a revisionist view of history and seems like a disgruntled ex-employee”.