It is believed that Trump asked this at a private dinner back in January during the first few days of his administration. The events came on the backdrop of an ongoing investigation by the FBI for possible ties between Russia and some people within the Trump administration. Last night on CNN, Jack Tapper confirmed the report and went on to quote a close source to Comey saying that the former FBI Director was taken aback by the question.
It is reported that Comey rejected to grant Trump loyalty twice during the private dinner. The Times quoted two sources close to the former FBI Director that are reported to have information about the conversation between Comey and the President. It is believed that Comey instead decided to assure Trump of his honesty albeit the Times went on to report that Trump insisted on counting on what it called “honest loyalty” from Comey’s side.
However, Tapper stated that the source to whom he spoke to said that honest loyalty really meant nothing. The Times noted that even after this, Trump was to ask for loyalty again during the dinner. However, it was not forthcoming. For many who know Trump, this was not a surprise, though. As a private citizen, Trump had always insisted on absolute loyalty from all his close associates. The White House denied this account of events. Trump said in an interview for NBC News that this was not true, and that it was actually Comey who wanted to meet him. However, an official from the FBI cited by NBC said that the President’s account of the story was “not correct”.
Comey was fired on Tuesday. The grounds for dismissal given by the Trump administration appeared to be conflicting. The original announcement by the White House was that the decision to fire Comey took after recommendations from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General. However, speaking with NBC News, The POTUS said he always planned on firing Comey and that the Russian investigation had already started to get under his skin. Trump has often downplayed the investigation of Russian ties to his campaign by both the FBI, and the Senate and House committees.
President Trump has termed the inquiry as a false accusation by the Democrats after losing the November election last year. A number of high-profile members of the Trump administration have been identified as persons of interest in the Russian ties investigations. Former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, is one of them and he was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday to aid in the investigation. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort as well as former Foreign Policy Adviser, Carter Cage have both been mentioned. Current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has also been named in the investigations and it is believed he had a hand in the dismissal of Comey.