President Donald Trump denied on Thursday that he told former FBI Director James Comey that he didn’t spend a night in Moscow, saying, “Of course I stayed there.”
“He didn’t write those memos accurately. He put a lot of phony stuff. For instance, I went to Russia for a day or so – a day or two – because I own the Miss Universe Pageant, so I went there to watch it,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”
“He said I didn’t stay there a night. Of course I stayed there. I stayed there a very short period of time but of course I stayed. Well, his memo said I left immediately. I never said that. I never said I left immediately.”
Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, wrote in memos that Trump told him on two occasions that he did not stay overnight in Moscow around the time of the Miss Universe pageant in 2013.
CNN reported shortly before Trump took office that Comey presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him. BuzzFeed News published the full, unverified dossier that included the infamous claim that Russian authorities had evidence of Trump watching prostitutes urinate in a hotel suite.
There is no indication that such a tape exists, and Trump has denied it.
At a CNN town hall on Wednesday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Comey, “Since then, flight records, social media posts, congressional testimony, also photographs prove that he actually did spend the night in Moscow. Do you think it’s significant that the President lied to you twice?”
“It’s always significant when someone lies to you, especially about something you’re not asking about. It tends to reflect a consciousness of guilt,” Comey said. “I don’t know what was in his head. I don’t know whether he was intentionally misstating a fact to me.”
Trump acknowledged in his Fox interview that he watched Comey’s town hall.