James Comey: Trump Wanted Me to Investigate the “Pee Tape”
In his forthcoming book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, ousted FBI Director James Comey detailed an uncomfortable conversation he had with President Trump over the infamous “pee tape” mentioned in Christopher Steele’s dossier on Russian election interference. Comey claimed that the president, who the dossier alleged watched as two Russian sex workers urinated on each other on a bed in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow in 2013, wanted to be officially cleared of the allegation in order to pacify his wife, Melania Trump.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ … adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey wrote in a passage of the memoir obtained by New York Post. “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.”
According to Comey, the uncomfortable request came during the January 27, 2017 dinner during which President Trump demanded “loyalty” from the then FBI head in the wake of the Russia probe. From the NY Post:
Comey said he privately wondered why Melania might think there was even a 1 percent chance the allegations were true, claiming there is “zero chance” his own wife would believe such a claim.
“In what kind of marriage, to what kind of man, does a spouse conclude there is only a 99 percent chance her husband didn’t do that?” he writes in the book, which hits shelves April 17.
The Washington Post shared a passage of the book in which Comey details briefing Trump on the dossier during the transition. Comey claimed that the then president-elect emphatically pushed back on the “pee tape” story and perhaps tipped his hand when it came to Trump’s overall treatment of women. From Washington Post:
The president-elect quickly interrupted the FBI director. According to Comey’s account in a new memoir, Trump “strongly denied the allegations, asking — rhetorically, I assumed — whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes. He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations.”
Trump was likely referring to the 19 women who accused him of sexual harassment or assault ahead of the election.
In addition to the in-person briefing, Trump reportedly called Comey to encourage him to clear him of the piss tape rumor. From Washington Post:
Trump offered varying explanations to convince Comey it was not true. “I’m a germaphobe,” Trump told him in a follow-up call on Jan. 11, 2017, according to Comey’s account. “There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me. No way.” Later, the president asked what could be done to “lift the cloud” because it was so painful for first lady Melania Trump.
That same day, then President-elect Trump held a news conference to refute to contents of the dossier. From <em>New York Times:
I am extremely careful. I’m surrounded by bodyguards. I’m surrounded by people.
And I always tell them — anywhere, but I always tell them if I’m leaving this country, “Be very careful, because in your hotel rooms and no matter where you go, you’re gonna probably have cameras.” I’m not referring just to Russia, but I would certainly put them in that category.
And number one, “I hope you’re gonna be good anyway. But in those rooms, you have cameras in the strangest places. Cameras that are so small with modern technology, you can’t see them and you won’t know. You better be careful, or you’ll be watching yourself on nightly television.”
I tell this to people all the time.
I was in Russia years ago, with the Miss Universe contest, which did very well — Moscow, the Moscow area did very, very well.
And I told many people, “Be careful, because you don’t wanna see yourself on television. Cameras all over the place.”
And again, not just Russia, all over.
Serving as a presidential marriage counselor probably wasn’t in Comey’s job description, but he only served at the pleasure of the president until May 9,2017, when he was unceremoniously fired from his post via a letter delivered by Trump’s former head of security, Keith Schiller. On one hand, getting fired with a letter is humiliating. On the other hand, he didn’t have to endure any more meetings or phone calls where the president tells him why he wouldn’t pay women to pee in front of him.