The Slatest

Comey Memos: Trump Talked About Russia’s “Beautiful Hookers,” Couldn’t Keep Middle Eastern Countries Straight

US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin from the Oval Office on Jan. 28, 2017
President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin from the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 28, 2017, in Washington.
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

The memos drafted by former FBI Director James Comey about his interactions with President Trump, just posted by the Associated Press on Thursday night, contain some strange and illuminating tidbits about conversations Trump had with other world leaders in the early days of his presidency.

As Comey has discussed widely in the run-up to the release of his memoir, he says in the memos that Trump was fixated on the infamous claim about urinating prostitutes in the Steele dossier, or the “golden showers thing,” as the president apparently called it. In a Feb. 8, 2017, memo, Comey says that Trump claimed during a conversation at the White House that he hadn’t even stayed overnight in Moscow during the Miss Universe trip where the event allegedly took place, but also added that Russian President Vladimir Putin “had told him ‘We have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.’ ”

Comey notes that Trump didn’t mention when Putin had told him this, but Putin had made public comments about the beauty of Russian prostitutes that January. The two leaders had conducted their first official conversation just 11 days earlier. Perhaps the two leaders also discussed “beautiful hookers” then, or perhaps Trump was merely referring to Putin’s public statements and Comey misunderstood.

The president also had some choice words for his former national security advisor. In a memo from Jan. 28, the day of the Putin call, Comey writes that Trump said he had “serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgment.” The president told a story from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s first visit to the White House, earlier that week. Comey writes:

Apparently, as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she had been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [redacted] had called (first, apparently). It was then that the President learned of [redacted] call and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment or after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [redacted] of a country like [redacted.] (This isn’t [redacted] we are talking about.”)

Trump spoke to several world leaders on the Saturday that the return call was apparently scheduled, including Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In the final memo, dated April 11, 2017, Comey notes that during a phone call, Trump “began to talk about Egypt and its leader, saying Obama didn’t like the guy,” and mentioned the recent Coptic church bombings by ISIS in the country. According to Comey, Trump also said that “three Americans had been killed by an Egyptian soldier and the Egyptian leader had raised it with him.” As Comey pointed out to Trump, it was actually a Jordanian soldier who had killed three U.S. troops.