WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday that he broke a dinner date with his wife on Jan. 27 after President Donald Trump invited him to eat at the White House.
“In retrospect, I should — I love spending time with my wife, I wish I’d been there that night,” Comey said, drawing laughter from those gathered for Thursday’s hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In an interview last month with NBC News, Trump told Lester Holt that Comey “wanted to have dinner” with him “because he wanted to stay on” as FBI director. Trump added that Comey had requested the dinner.
Asked Thursday if Trump’s statements were accurate, Comey said “no.”
“He called me at my desk at lunch time and asked me if I was free for dinner that night. He called himself and said, ‘Can you come over for dinner tonight?’ And I said, ‘Yes, sir,’” Comey testified.
After hanging up the phone, Comey said he called his wife to break their date.
In his prepared testimony for Thursday, Comey said Trump seemed to want the then-FBI director to ask for his job during the January dinner, creating “some sort of patronage relationship.” The president then demanded loyalty from Comey, according to the testimony. Comey said he promised “honesty.”