Comey claims Trump asked him in late March to ‘lift the cloud’ of the Russia probe

Fired FBI Director James Comey claims that President Donald Trump asked him in late March to “lift the cloud” put over his administration by the ongoing investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

In a written statement submitted in advance of Comey’s expected testimony Thursday, the former FBI director also confirmed reports that in an earlier Oval Office conversation, Trump made what Comey interpreted as a request to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, saying the FBI chief should “let this go.”

Comey’s statement does support Trump’s claims that Comey gave repeated assurances that Trump wasn’t personally under investigation. However, the ex-FBI chief says he rebuffed the president’s attempts to have the agency clear him publicly in case the probe did eventually turn to Trump.

Comey, who was fired by Trump on May 9, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday in one of the most-highly anticipated congressional hearings in decades.

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