Donald Trump forbids James Comey from leaking to media in veiled tweet

Frederick Owens
May 18, 2017

According to insiders who spoke with the Associated Press, the leak-obsessed president, distrustful of his staff, has shrunk his inner circle to his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as longtime aides like former spokesperson Hope Hicks and Trump's personal bodyguard Keith Schiller.

Trump tweeted Friday that "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Durbin, on "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, suggested that the president's move to fire Comey amid its Trump-Russia investigation was "dangerous because he may be obstructing justice".

The shifting accounts of the decision to fire Comey, whom Trump derided as a "showboat" and "grandstander", added to a mounting sense of uncertainty and chaos in the West Wing, as aides scrambled to get their stories straight and appease an angry president.

"When I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story", he said in an interview with NBC, appearing to link Comey's firing with the investigation.

In a report that fueled charges that Trump has overstepped the norms of his office, the New York Times reported, citing accounts of Comey associates, that the president asked Comey in January to pledge loyalty to him.

"We just heard from the director that he's not able to make Tuesday", Warner told CNN.

Asked about the president's tweet at a press briefing Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined to elaborate.

While Democrats continue to decry the timing of Comey's firing was a way to short-circuit the ongoing counterintelligence probe, Trump tweeted that is is all politics: "Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election".

"I actually asked him, yes".

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"The president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created", Mr Graham said, adding: "I have no evidence that the president colluded with the Russians at all. but we don't know all the evidence yet".

The White House had no immediate comment on Clapper's remarks on a morning in which no White House aide appeared on the Sunday news shows to discuss Trump's firing.

"All I can tell you is, well I know what, I know that I'm not under investigation. Me". I'm not talking about anything else.

Details of the dinner were first reported by The New York Times. "Now it unfortunately looks like that the president may be willing to interfere with the FBI's investigation to keep the truth from coming out". The FBI typically does not confirm their existence.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that the Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, needs Comey to appear before it to "clear the air". "I don't see it as a conflict of interest", Sanders said.

FBI officials have questioned Trump's claims, and the agency' acting director, Andrew McCabe, on Thursday said such assurances about the scope of an ongoing counterintelligence investigation would not be "standard practice".

"If, in fact, there are such recordings, I think those recordings will be subpoenaed and they will probably have to turn them over", said Lee.

CNN said later that Comey is "not anxious about any tapes" Trump may have of their conversations, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter. "All of the agents involved in the investigation are still in their positions". "We've got to address that", said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, referring to Trump's behavior with Comey, including the report that the president asked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's loyalty. Republicans hold 52 seats in the chamber to Democrats' 48.

"For many people, including myself, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the president's decision to remove Director Comey was related to this investigation".

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