President Donald Trump Friday denied that he had asked former FBI Director James Comey for his loyalty over dinner in January but said that "I don't think it's inappropriate to ask."
"No, no, I didn't," Trump told Jeanine Pirro on Fox News, in an interview to be broadcast Saturday, when she asked whether he had sought Comey's pledge. "But I don't think it would be a bad question to ask.
"I think loyalty to the country, loyalty to the United States is important," Trump said. "You know, I mean, it depends on how you define loyalty, number one.
"Number two, I don't know how that got there because I didn't ask that question."
The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump had pressed Comey for his loyalty in a Jan. 27 dinner meeting, but that he only promised that "he would be honest with him always."
When the new president then asked whether it would be "honest loyalty," Comey responded, "You will have that."
The article was based on interviews with two Comey associates whom he had told of the meeting, which they said Trump had requested.
Of the Times report itself, President Trump would only say: "I read that article. I don't think it's inappropriate to ask."
Pirro then asked Trump about his Friday tweet that Comey:
"That I can't talk about," the president would only say. "I won't talk about that.
"All I want is for Comey to be honest — and I hope he will be.
"I'm sure he will be, I hope."
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