New reports have revealed that U.S. President Donald Trump demanded loyalty from James Comey. Trump apparently met the FBI director in a private dinner and asked him to pledge his loyalty. However, Comey hesitated to do so, as he attended the dinner with the commander in chief at the White House.
The dinner took place in January, right after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Nevertheless, Comey now believes that his reaction to the president’s request is one of the main reasons behind his downfall, according to the ones who have heard Comey talk about the dinner night.
Here is what happened during that dinner. Donald Trump had small talks with Comey about the presidential election. He also talked about how many people attended Trump’s rallies. Soon, the president’s talks went in another direction. He told Comey that the FBI director should be “loyal” to the president.
The FBI, as an independent investigating body, must not be “loyal” to anybody in the country. The only loyalty that exists in the bureau is for the truth, and nothing else. Fairly enough, Comey refused to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump. He said it would never be possible for him, as the FBI director, to be “loyal” to him. However, he promised Trump that he would always be honest with the president.
According to Comey, the U.S. president asked him more than once to pledge loyalty. When his initial proposal to Comey was met with rejection, he asked the FBI director again during the dinner.
However, there is a different interpretation of what happened at the dinner. This interpretation comes from the White House, which does not consider Comey’s view as correct. Donald Trump’s version of the dinner conversation is quite different. Trump said in an interview on Thursday that it was Comey that asked for the meeting.
According to Trump, the discussion about pledging loyalty never really took place. While it is unclear which meeting Trump was referring to, he had only one dinner with the FBI director. So, it is obvious that he was talking about the same dinner. According to a White House spokesperson, the interpretation given by Comey’s associates is inaccurate.
“The integrity of our law enforcement agencies and their leadership is of the utmost importance to President Trump,” Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “He would never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty, only loyalty to our country and its great people.”
According to Trump’s version, he asked Comey if he was under investigation. Comey assured him that he was not. According to experts, it is highly unusual for the U.S. president to ask such a question to the FBI director.
Donald Trump demands loyalty from each and every employee who works for him. He is known for sacking those who are found to be “insufficiently reliable,” according to the New York Times. However, by demanding loyalty from the FBI director, Trump might have lost the point here a bit. Unlike what he might think, the FBI director is not his employee. The employees in the bureau are not supposed to be politically loyal to anybody. Congress passed a law in the ’70s that gave FBI directors 10-year terms, so that they could be independent the of president at the White House.
Comey, as the FBI director, was not allow to discuss what happened in the dinner with the U.S. president, even though he reportedly talked about it with a few close to him. However, now that he has been terminated, the people whom he discussed it with have now opened up.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]