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James Comey memos highlights: Flynn's "judgment," "chaotic conversation" and more

CBS News on Thursday obtained a redacted version of the memos of former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump last year. Comey has said he wrote the memos to document his conversations with Mr. Trump.

Two sources familiar with the matter told CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett earlier Thursday the president approved the transmission after receiving recommendations from top Justice Department officials. Garrett reports the White House legal team believes they are more favorable to the president than how the president has been represented in Comey's new book.

Here are some highlights from the memos: 

Pages 1-2: Trump Tower meeting on Jan. 6, 2017

During their first meeting in Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017, Comey says Trump told him "I had conducted myself honorably and had a great reputation" and was "repeatedly put in impossible positions." He told Comey he hoped he planned to stay on.

After Comey described the alleged Russian tapes of Mr. Trump with prostitutes, Mr. Trump allegedly said, "there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes." Comey writes Mr. Trump said he assumed the hotel rooms he stays in while traveling are always wired in some way.

"He then started talking about all the women who had falsely accused him of grabbing or touching them…and gave me the sense that he was defending himself to me," Comey writes. Mr. Trump also explained the FBI was trying to protect him from efforts to coerce him, according to Comey. 

"He said he was grateful for the conversation, said more nice things about me and how he looks forward to working with me and we departed the room," Comey writes.

Pages 3-6: Dinner with Mr. Trump on Jan. 28, 2017

Comey describes a "chaotic" conversation that jumped from topic to topic. They included the inauguration, the disabled reporter Mr. Trump mocked during the campaign (Mr. Trump said he didn't mock him), the "luxury" of the White House and Barron's height. 

Mr. Trump asked Comey what he wanted to do, and Comey said he wanted to stay to do his job. "I explained that he could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don't do sneaky things, I don't leak, I don't do weasel moves. But I was not on anybody's side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense." 

Mr. Trump responded that he "needed loyalty and expected loyalty," Comey writes. As Comey has said publicly, he did not respond. They moved onto a long discussion about the Clinton email investigation, which Mr. Trump knew about in detail. Comey reiterated he didn't think there was a case against Clinton, and Mr. Trump said he disagreed.

Mr. Trump also asked Comey whether "your guy McCabe" had a problem with him because of what he said about McCabe and his wife during the campaign. "I explained that Andy was a true professional and had no problem at all," Comey writes. 

Comey writes that Mr. Trump brought up what he called "the golden showers thing" and called it "fake news." Mr. Trump said it bothered him if "there was even a one percent chance" it was true, Comey writes.

The president said he had talked to people who reminded him that he didn't stay overnight in Russia during the Miss Universe trip, and also said he thought he should maybe ask Comey to investigate it to prove it was a lie. Comey writes that he didn't ask questions and said it was up to him, but also warned it was difficult to disprove a lie. He said he also didn't want to create a narrative they were investigating the president.

He recounts the conversation where the president asked for loyalty, Comey offered honesty, and Trump asked for "honest loyalty."

Comey writes, "He then went on to explain that he has serious reservations about [former national security adviser] Mike Flynn's judgment," having to do with Flynn's involvement in the timing of phone calls to the president after his inauguration. Comey did not mention any FBI involvement/interest in Flynn.

Flynn pleaded guilty last to lying to the FBI.

Pages 7-9: Comey meet and greet with Reince Priebus and Oval Office drop by, Feb. 8, 2017

Former chief of staff Reince Priebus asked Comey if he was a laywer and for his opinion on the immigration order; Comey said he hadn't followed the court discussion carefully.

They discussed Mr. Trump's interest in potentially having the FBI investigate the "golden showers thing," and Comey repeated his concerns about not wanting to create a narrative that they were investigating the president. Priebus aso asked about leaks on a topic, which is redacted in the memo.

Priebus asked if he had a FISA order on Mike Flynn. Comey said he would answer but normally it should go through "established channels." Comey's answer – yes or no – is redacted. 

They discussed the Clinton email investigation, then Priebus took Comey to the Oval Office. Mr. Trump and Spicer were there. Mr. Trump brought up the email investigation again, and asked once again if McCabe had a problem with him. Comey says Mr. Trump brought up the "golden showers thing" again and once again said it bothered him if his wife had any doubt about it, and that he hadn't stayed overnight in Russia. Mr. Trump said "the hookers thing" is nonsense but mentioned Putin told him "we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world," but didn't say when Putin told him this. 

Pages 10-11: Homeland threat briefing for Mr. Trump and Flynn conversation in the Oval Office on Feb. 14, 2017

At the end of the meeting, Comey writes Mr. Trump asked everyone to leave. Then, he writes, "he began by saying he wanted to 'talk about Mike Flynn.' He then said that, although Flynn 'hadn't done anything wrong' in his call with the Russians (a point he made at least two more times in the conversation), he had to let him go because he misled the Vice President, whom he described as 'a good guy.' He explained that he just couldn't have Flynn misleading the Vice President and, in any event, he had other concerns about Flynn, and had a great guy coming in, so he had to let Flynn go."

Mr. Trump brought up for the second time the leaks from his phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia (Comey wrote about this coming up in the previous Priebus/Oval Office meeting too). "I tried to interject several times to agree with him about the leaks being terrible, but I was unsuccessful." Comey talked about the importance of finding leakers, and Mr. Trump mentioned Judith Miller and how jailing reporters to find out what they knew worked. "I explained that I was a fan of pursuing leaks aggressively but that going after reporters was tricky, for legal reasons, and because DOJ tends to approach it conservatively."

Mr. Trump came back to the Mike Flynn topic and Comey writes he said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."

Page 11: Email from Comey to James Rybicki on March 1, 2017

Comey describes a call from Mr. Trump to check in. Comey praised Attorney General Jeff Sessions' speech on violent crime.

Pages 13-14: Phone call with Mr. Trump March 30, 2017

Comey writes Mr. Trump said "was trying to run the country and the cloud of this Russia business was making that difficult" and said that was the reason they lost the healthcare vote. Mr. Trump also reiterated he had nothing to do with Russia.

"He asked what I could do to lift that cloud. I explained that we were running it down as quickly as possible." Comey said he was running it down as quickly as possible.

When Comey reminded Mr. Trump he wasn't investigating him and told Congressional leaders the same thing, Mr. Trump said it would be great if that could get out.

Page 15: Phone call with the president on April 10, 2017

Mr. Trump said he was calling to see if Comey had gotten out that he was not under investigation. Comey said he had passed the request to the acting Attorney General but hadn't heard back. Mr. Trump said it was important to lift the cloud so he can do work for the country.

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    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.