President Donald Trump asked FBI chief James Comey to end an inquiry into links between his ex-national security adviser and Russia, US media report.
“I hope you can let this go,” Mr Trump reportedly told Mr Comey after a White House meeting in February, according to a memo written by the ex-FBI director.
The memo was written immediately after the meeting, a day after Michael Flynn resigned, according to US media.
The White House has denied the report in a statement.
“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,” the statement read.
Mr Flynn was forced out in February over revelations that he discussed lifting US sanctions on Russia with their ambassador to Washington before Mr Trump took office. He also misled the US vice-president about that conversation.
The latest Russia twist, first reported by the New York Times, comes a week after Mr Trump fired Mr Comey over his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while at the State Department.
Mr Comey’s dismissal sent shockwaves through Washington, with critics accusing the president of trying to thwart the FBI investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the US election and any Moscow ties to Trump associates.
Mr Comey reportedly wrote a memo following a meeting with the president on 14 February that revealed Mr Trump asked him to close an investigation into Mr Flynn’s actions.
He reportedly shared the memo with top FBI associates.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” the president told Mr Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy.
Mr Comey did not respond to his request, according to the memo, but responded: “I agree he is a good guy.”
In response to the report, a White House official pointed out that acting FBI director Andrew McCabe testified last week that there “has been no effort to impede our investigation to date”.
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