By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - President Donald Trump last year asked then-FBI Director James Comey to investigate salacious sections of a "dossier" in order to disprove its contents, Comey said in excerpts of an interview set to air Friday.
The dossier, compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, contains details of an alleged rendezvous Trump had with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, and suggests the Russian government taped the encounter. The allegations remain unverified.
Trump told Comey it would be "terrible" if his wife, Melania, thought the allegations were even one percent true, Comey told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.
"I'm a flawed human being but there's literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true, so what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think there's only a 99 percent chance you didn't do that?" Trump asked Comey, said the former FBI head.
Asked whether he believes the dossier's contents are accurate, Comey said he does not know.
Stephanopoulos said Comey repeatedly likened the president to a "mob boss" during the interview, which will air in full Sunday night.
- Trump: 'Honor' to fire Comey
Lashing out at Comey as details of the book emerge, Trump called him an "untruthful slime ball" in a statement issued on Twitter.
"James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired," Trump said.
"He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst 'botch jobs' of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!" the president added.
Comey's dismissal sent shockwaves through Washington last year. It is exceedingly rare for a president to fire the bureau's top official, and Comey is only the second director to be ousted since the bureau was founded in 1908.
An ABC News-Washington Post poll released Friday suggests Americans hold Comey to be far more believable than their president by a 16-point spread.
Comey's book, A Higher Truth, will be released next week.