Trump says he doesn't remember asking acting FBI director about 2016 vote

The White House earlier refused to deny the claims.

The Post cited a U.S. official as saying McCabe found Trump's questions "disturbing."

"I don't think I did," Trump said Wednesday when asked about the report. "I don't know what's the big deal with that. I saw that this morning. I don't remember asking him that question. I also think it's a very unimportant question, but I don't remember asking him the question."

Asked whether McCabe should be removed from his position, Trump said "You know what. I keep out of it. You find that hard to believe. I keep out of it."

The president's response came after the White House declined to explicitly deny the report earlier in the day.

"The president and Andrew McCabe have had limited and pretty nonsubstantive conversations," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said when asked about the story at Wednesday's press briefing. "I can't get into the details of what was discussed. I wasn't there."

The report of such a question posed by Trump to McCabe, who led the FBI in an acting capacity for nearly three months before returning to his current position as deputy director upon the confirmation of Christopher Wray as director, is notable given Comey's claim that Trump expressed a desire for "loyalty" during a meeting between the two in January 2017. Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June that Trump told him, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty," during their conversation; the president has denied the claim.

After first saying she did not know what Trump and McCabe discussed, Sanders forcefully dismissed the suggestion that there was public interest in the report and would not guarantee that she would follow-up with the president to learn additional details.

A source familiar with the matter told ABC News in December that McCabe is expected to retire in the coming months.

Mueller has indicated to Trump's attorneys that his office is interested in having the president answer questions about the dismissals of both Comey and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying about his contacts with Russian officials to FBI agents investigating that country's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Last summer, Comey additionally testified that Trump expressed that he hoped the FBI would "let go" of its investigation into Flynn.