A friend of James Comey has revealed that the former FBI director was "disgusted" when he was hugged by President Donald Trump at the White House.
Benjamin Wittes, a journalist friend of Comey's and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told reporters about a lunch he had with Comey in March.
He revealed that the 6ft 8in Comey had tried to blend in to blue curtains against the back of the Blue Room with the blue jacket he was wearing.
Comey walked up to Trump and preemptively reached out for a handshake to avoid a hug, Wittes said. "But Trump pulled him into an embrace and Comey didn't reciprocate. If you look at the video, it's one person shaking hands and another hugging," he added.
Wittes also revealed that Comey was "completely disgusted by the episode", fearing that it may be an "intentional attempt to compromise him in public."
Despite his various attempts to bring Comey into the fold, Trump continued to receive resistance. On 9 May, Trump sacked Comey in what would become the beginning of controversy-filled week for the president.
Since the sacking, the scandal surrounding Trump, the White House, the 2016 campaign and Russia has widened at a rapid rate of knots with some calling for the president to be impeached.
It comes as Trump prepares for his first overseas trip as president, which will involve visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.