In his written testimony on Wednesday, former FBI Director James Comey said that United States President Donald Trump had asked him to drop an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of a probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in last year’s presidential election, Reuters reported. Comey alleged that in February this year, Trump had told him: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

The testimony was released a day prior to his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill. In his seven-page testimony, Comey wrote that he found Trump’s intervention “very concerning”, reported The Guardian. He also said that on March 30, during a phone call, Trump asked Comey what could be done to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation.

The president allegedly had told Comey, the day before Flynn resigned from his post, that Flynn had done “nothing wrong” in speaking to the Russians, but he had to let him go as he had misled Vice President Mike Pence. “He [Flynn] is a good guy and has been through a lot,” Trump allegedly told Comey. “I hope you can let this go.”

Comey said that at least on three occasions he had informed Trump that he was not being investigated in the Russian probe. Trump had also asked him for a “patronage relationship” and asked for his “loyalty”, the former FBI director said. “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” Trump had allegedly told Comey during a conversation at the White House on January 27. Comey was abruptly fired by Trump on May 9 purportedly because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email controversy. Trump on Wednesday had said he will be nominating Washington DC lawyer Christopher A Wray to take over as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trump’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Wednesday released a statement, saying the president was feeling “completely and totally vindicated” by Comey’s testimony. “The president is pleased that Mr Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the president was not under investigation in any Russian probe,” Kasowitz said.

American intelligence agencies believe that the Kremlin influenced the result of the November 8, 2016 election, in which Republican candidate Donald Trump stunned most pollsters by defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a claim denied by Russia. The Federal Bureau of Investigation in March started an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the election.