President Donald Trump complained to former FBI director James Comey about the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia, according to Comey’s opening remarks, which were posted to the Senate website on Wednesday. Comey will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open hearing on Thursday.
According to Comey’s remarks, Trump called him in March and described the Russia probe as “a cloud” that was stalling his agenda and “ability to act on behalf of the country.”
Trump then asked Comey for his help to “lift the cloud” created over his administration by the FBI’s Russia probe, according to the remarks.
“I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well,” Comey wrote. “He agreed, but then re-emphasised the problems this was causing him.”
Comey, who was fired on May 9, has not yet spoken publicly about his interactions with Trump before he was fired.
His appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday will be the first public comments he makes. Though the White House initially said that the Russia investigation had nothing to do with Comey’s firing, Trump later told NBC News’ Lester Holt that “this Russia thing” had been a factor in his decision.