Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate intelligence committee on June 8, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
President Trump pointed his fingers at his own head and said then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had "serious judgment issues," according to a redacted, unclassified version of then-FBI Director James Comey's original memo about his fateful dinner with Trump.
That's one new detail included in copies of the memoranda sent by the Justice Department to Congress on Thursday evening in response to a request from the leaders of the Judiciary and intelligence committees.
They also describe Comey warning Trump about the danger of appointing someone too close to him to run the Justice Department — about how that was more of a source of problems for presidents than when someone with more distance becomes attorney general — and the difficulty Comey says he had following Trump's monologue-like conversation.
"It really was conversation-as-jigsaw puzzle in a way, with pieces picked up, then discarded, then returned to," Comey wrote.
Trump denies the accounts of events Comey has given and has sandblasted him on Twitter this week. Trump's Republican allies in the House have "referred" Comey to the Justice Department because they say he should be prosecuted.
Overall, the documents confirm much of what has become a familiar narrative about the president and the onetime top G-Man: Trump asks Comey for "loyalty," which the FBI director declined to pledge; Trump clears the Oval Office to talk with Comey about Flynn and ask him to "let this go;" and Trump urges Comey to announce publicly that the FBI isn't investigating him personally as it looked into whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.
Other top officials also appear in the Comey memos, including Flynn himself — with whom Comey had a relationship dating to Flynn's time in charge of the Defense Intelligence Agency — and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Mostly, though, the accounts are about Trump, drafted soon after Comey had concluded each meeting or conversation with him. In the case of the first document, Comey describes how he had just come from seeing then-President-elect Trump in New York City and decided to draft an account of their conversation "less than five minutes after the meeting" in his official FBI vehicle.
Trump, in Comey's telling, gave extensive denials about the salacious allegations about him in the infamous Christopher Steele dossier. He was obsessed with press leaks about the goings-on in the White House and his phone calls with foreign leaders. And he frequently mentioned to Comey "your guy" Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whom Trump had made a political target in the 2016 campaign.
The Justice Department's submission of the memos to Congress follows a week of saturation news about Comey and McCabe. Comey has been appearing on TV and radio nearly constantly talking about his book, which draws upon the accounts he drafted in the memos.
And McCabe, a spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday, is aware that he could be facing criminal charges after the Justice Department referred his case to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C.