Clapper: ‘Uneasy’ Comey Told Me Trump Invited Him To White House Dinner (VIDEO)
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Friday directly contradicted President Trump’s claim that ousted FBI Director James Comey had asked Trump to have dinner a week after the President’s inauguration to ask to keep his job. He said that Comey told him he was “uneasy” about attending the dinner.
Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt on Thursday that Comey had requested to have dinner with him, and that he asked Trump at the dinner to keep him in his post as FBI director.
Multiple unnamed sources told the New York Times and NBC News after that interview that not only did Trump summon Comey to dinner on Jan. 27 and not the other way around, but also that Trump had asked at the dinner for Comey to pledge his loyalty to him. Comey reportedly refused.
Clapper told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday about a farewell ceremony Comey had hosted for him earlier the same day, Jan. 27.
“And Jim and I spoke briefly before the ceremony and he mentioned that he had been invited to the White House to have dinner with the President, and that he was uneasy with that because of even compromising the — even the optics, the appearance of independence, not only of him, but of the FBI,” Clapper recalled.
“But he was going that very night to the dinner. Did he explain why he felt he had to go?” Mitchell asked.
“Well, I think anyone who is serving office in the government, and you’re asked by the President for dinner, I think as professional courtesy, you’re in a difficult position to refuse to go,” Clapper said. “But I do know he was uneasy with it, just for the appearance of compromising the independence of the FBI, which is a hallowed tenet in our system.” Read full story here