'No. No. Next question': Trump flatly denies he ever asked Comey to end probe into Flynn

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he never asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the bureau's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's foreign contacts and payments.

"No. No. Next question," Trump replied during a press conference with the Colombian president when asked about the New York Times report that Comey had written a memo documenting the February 14 exchange.

Trump fired Comey one week ago, in what the White House initially said was based on the recommendations of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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President Trump's meeting with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos
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President Trump's meeting with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration has said it wants to slash foreign aide and Santos will most likely seek a renewal of $450 million dollars from the U.S. that supports the peace accord between the Columbian government at the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration has said it wants to slash foreign aide and Santos will most likely seek a renewal of $450 million dollars from the U.S. that supports the peace accord between the Columbian government at the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump listens during a press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in the East Room of the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Gary Cohn, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, rubs his eye during a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, not pictured, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 18, 2017. As Colombia's five-decade conflict with Marxist rebels winds down, Santos is battling to keep Washington's interest in the country that receives the greatest amount of U.S. aid in the Americas. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump, right, listens during a news conference with in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 18, 2017. As Colombia's five-decade conflict with Marxist rebels winds down, Santos is battling to keep Washington's interest in the country that receives the greatest amount of U.S. aid in the Americas. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump, right, listens as Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 18, 2017. As Colombia's five-decade conflict with Marxist rebels winds down, Santos is battling to keep Washington's interest in the country that receives the greatest amount of U.S. aid in the Americas. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 18, 2017. As Colombia's five-decade conflict with Marxist rebels winds down, Santos is battling to keep Washington's interest in the country that receives the greatest amount of U.S. aid in the Americas. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: (R-L) U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, White House Senior Advisor and son-in-law to the president Jared Kushner and Press Secretary Sean Spicer attend a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the East Room of the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration has said it wants to slash foreign aide and Santos will most likely seek a renewal of $450 million dollars from the U.S. that supports the peace accord between the Columbian government at the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: US President Donald Trump takes questions from reporters during a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration has said it wants to slash foreign aide and Santos will most likely seek a renewal of $450 million dollars from the U.S. that supports the peace accord between the Columbian government at the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
From left White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, US Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and US Vice President Mike Pence listen as Colombia's President President Juan Manuel Santos and US President Donald Trump hold a press conference in the East Room of the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump during a joint press conference at the White House on May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (R) leaves as Colombia's President President Juan Manuel Santos and US President Donald Trump wait for a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House May 18, 2017 in Washington,DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a press conference with US President Donald Trump at the White House on May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump during a joint press conference at the White House on May 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Trump said later, however, that he had been thinking about "this Russia thing" when he fired Comey, whom he called a "showboat" and a "grandstander" in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt last Thursday. He tweeted Friday that Comey "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to oversee the probe on Wednesday, in an escalation of the investigation that Trump called "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" Trump repeated that he felt the probe was akin to a "witch hunt" during the Thursday press conference.

The Times reported that Comey wrote the memo immediately after meeting with Trump on February 14, one day after Flynn was asked to resign. The document "was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president's improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation."

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump told Comey, according to the memo. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."

Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to leave the room before asking Comey to drop the Flynn probe, according to reports from the Times and CNN. Their meeting came weeks after Trump reportedly asked Comey for his loyalty, twice, during a dinner on January 27.

While the Times did not obtain the memo, portions of the document were read to a Times reporter by an associate of Comey who had a copy, the paper said. ABC, CNN, and The Washington Post independently confirmed the content of the memo, which the Post said was "two pages long and highly detailed."

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