President Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the agency's investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn, according to a report published Tuesday evening.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump said, according to a memo written by Comey and reported by the New York Times. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
The New York Times said their reporters had not visually seen the memo, but portions were read to them. Comey wrote the memo shortly after the meeting in February.
Trump fired Comey last week.
The White House is denying Trump asked for an end to the Flynn investigation.
"While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn," a White House official said Thursday. "The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey."
"Deputy Director McCabe said in his testimony last week that the WH had not interfered with any investigation," the official said.
Flynn has been among the most controversial figures in the Trump orbit, at least where the Russia investigation has been concerned.
After acting as a campaign surrogate during the 2016 campaign, he was named national security adviser. But in the intervening transition months, Flynn took actions that would not only cost him his job, but would also multiply the controversies for the White House.
In December of 2016, he had a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in which he discussed the recent sanctions placed on Russia by the Obama administration. However, Flynn gave a different story to Trump officials.
After Vice President Mike Pence went on national TV and said Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador weren't about sanctions, a transcript proving otherwise was leaked to the press. Shortly thereafter, Flynn was forced out.
Even after leaving office, more Flynn controversy has risen to the surface. The House Oversight Committee has said they can't find any documents showing Flynn got approval from the Department of Defense for money he made from Russian partners – something Flynn would have needed to have done because of his Army rank when he retired.
Flynn has also reportedly sought to provide his testimony to both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in exchange for immunity.
Last week after Comey was fired, the White House spent enormous time and energy simply trying to reconcile conflicting reports of how the firing happened. The back-and-forth between the press offices and reporters ultimately caused a tweet from the president in which he threatened to stop daily press briefings.
The president's tweets about possibly having tapes of conversations with Director Comey drew comparisons to Watergate.
On Monday, Democrats used the revelations that the President might have inappropriately shared security information to draw analogies over how Republicans treated and accused Hillary Clinton for harming the country with her careless handling of State Department emails.
With the latest report, Senators are now cautiously but openly using the word "impeachment" in television interviews. Fox News can not find Republicans to go on TV to stand up for the president, and the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee is threatening to subpoena documents regarding the latest allegations.
That's what's visible on the outside. Inside, multiple reports have said the president is furious over leaks, as the leaks appear to grow greater by the day.
Sarah Westwood contributed to this report.