May 16 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote, The New York Times reported Tuesday citing a Comey associate.
Sources told the Times and CNN about the contents of memo, but the news organizations reported Tuesday they have not seen the note. The Times reported one of Comey's associates read parts of the memo to a reporter.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump told Comey during an Oval Office meeting in February, according to the memo. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
The White House officials refuted the claim Tuesday.
"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 in a statement. "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."
Comey wrote the memo detailing the conversation from the Feb. 14 meeting, the day after Flynn resigned, according to sources. The White House said Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
The Justice Department is investigating meddling by Russia in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign staff.
Comey was alone with Trump after they had met with other senior national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing.
According to the memo, Trump first condemned leaks to the news media, saying that Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information. Trump reportedly then spoke about Flynn.
Republicans and Democrats demanded answers from Comey.
In a letter to Acting FBI Director Andrew G. McCabe, House oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz R-Utah, requested "all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings" regarding communication between Trump and Comey.
Trump fired Comey last week, writing in a letter: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau."
Trump said in a television interview on Fox News that one of the reasons was because he believed "this Russia thing" was a "made-up story."
In testimony to the Senate last week, McCabe said, "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date."