In the memo he wrote that Trump had asked him to curtail an agency investigation into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned after misleading Vice President Mike Pence over contact he had with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Trump maintains that the data he shared with Lavrov concerned flight safety and terrorism, and that he had the "absolute right" to provide the information at an openly scheduled White House meeting.
Two sources told Politico that Trump insisted on writing a line in his letter firing Comey that the FBI director had assured him three times that he wasn't under investigation, against the warnings of his advisers. "I would say that Jim Comey has a high level of credibility", King said.
"We are hoping the president doesn't tweet", one official said. "This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr Comey".
"Nobody knows where this really goes from here", a White House official said. This one story is significant enough and will lead to more allegations of Trump obstructing justice.
Kaine proceeded to detail the sequence of events, including Trump allegedly telling Comey to halt his investigation into Flynn and his ties to Russian Federation. Comey, appointed as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2013 by President Barack Obama, spoke often about his desire to be as transparent as possible about Federal Bureau of Investigation actions and about proving to the public that his agency was independent, competent and thorough.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. It's hard not to presume that Comey has notes about this meeting, too.
As the New York Times notes, these memos "are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations". The FBI and Justice Department declined to comment on May 16 on accounts of the memo, which was first reported by The New York Times. Flynn was forced to resign February 13 after reports of the Yates-White House conversation.
The Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday asked Comey to appear before the panel in both open and closed sessions. "If there are such memos, documentation, we would like to see that from the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation turn over all "memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings" of discussions between Trump and Comey. CNN has confirmed the details of that memo.
A U.S. administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel, which was initially reported by the New York Times.
That's because the notes will have been written before Trump fired Comey, and before Comey had an ax to grind.