Trump again suggests ending White House briefings, won't commit to Spicer

Faith Castro
May 28, 2017

President Donald Trump's now infamous Friday morning tweet - which, in case you forgot, entailed him warning former FBI Director James Comey that he "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press" - may have already come back to bite him.

"Don't forget, we set lots of records - and I think we're going to do even better next time", Trump said.

Removing the leader of the nation's top law enforcement agency while he was in the middle of an investigation that could touch the president should - no matter what your view is - call forth seriousness, sobriety and thoughtfulness.

In separate tweets Friday morning Trump seemed to hint at dissatisfaction with how his communications team has weathered the firestorm he created with the abrupt decision to fire Comey on Tuesday.

It was less than two years ago when Republicans were crafting a "loyalty pledge" created to prevent Trump from running as an independent if - as expected at the time - he didn't win the Republican presidential nomination. As Trump characterized it, Blumenthal was "caught" and "cried like a baby". "He's simply stating a fact", Spicer said tersely.

By contrast, many of McConnell's Republican colleagues have begun disentangling their party from a presidency that is likely to end in a train wreck. Sen. But the president made the decision to fire Jim Comey. "I just can't do it". Ben Sasse of Nebraska joined in calling the timing "very troubling". The White House first said this week that Trump made the move because of a negative memo about Comey from the Justice Department, only to have the president later say he made the decision before seeing the memo.

The president didn't attend in person, but Trump recorded a five-minute video message that was played for numerous Republican National Committee's 168 members and their guests Friday.

Here are eight things that happened after Comey was sacked.

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On Tuesday, the White House announced Comey was sacked as Trump's decision came at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who laid out the case for axing Comey in a memo that detailed his mishandling of the investigation into Clinton's private email server.

Trump says Comey had told him three times he was not under investigation in the Russian Federation probe.

It has now emerged that days before he was sacked, Comey had asked Rosenstein for more resources to investigate Russia's role in the election.

At the RNC meeting, Kris Warner, a West Virginia committeeman, predicted that Comey's successor will put to rest any voter misgivings about Trump's handling of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, holding up the president's selection of Neil Gorsuch for a long-vacant seat on the Supreme Court as an example.

A strong chief of staff or White House Counsel's Office would have insisted on a well-prepared and carefully defended process to remove the FBI director if that were necessary - and would have counseled against doing it at all while the director was ramping up an investigation of Trump's campaign.

That means it's illegal to destroy presidential recordings and they could be subpoenaed by, say, Congress - which is part of the reason why no president since Nixon has installed recording devices in the Oval Office.

Maybe McConnell figures he can reposition himself on Trump at the right time. But he missed his chance to stand up when it mattered.

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