Is Trump Taping Conversations in the Oval Office? Sean Spicer Won't Say

Cliff Owen  FR170079 AP

Besides threatening to cancel White House press briefings and giving fired FBI Director James Comey a warning that there might be "tapes" of their conversations that exist, the president also glommed on to remarks made by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to call the Russian Federation investigations a "witch hunt".

His veiled threat was likely to add to the storm roiling Washington over Trump's abrupt firing of Comey on Tuesday. But given the cloud that Comey's firing has put over the Justice Department, there may be no alternative.

"That is, clearly, on it's face obstruction of justice", Laurence Tribe said of reports that Mr Trump had asked Mr Comey during a private dinner to pledge his loyalty to the President.

An individual familiar with Comey's thinking says the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director is not anxious about the possible existence of any tapes from his meeting with President Trump.

Mr Comey had said he was "uneasy" before the dinner, according to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

McCabe also pointed out the remarkable nature of Trump's version of his conversations with Comey.

Trump also revealed that he had the Russian Federation investigation in mind when he fired Comey.

By Wednesday, White House officials were saying that Trump had contemplated firing Comey for a long period of time, but made the final determination after hearing from Sessions and Rosenstein. Apparently stung by media scrutiny over shifting accounts of how and why Comey was sacked, Trump suggested he may call off daily media briefings at the White House.

The president's morning Twitter comments again raised the specter of Richard Nixon, who secretly taped conversations and telephone calls in the White House during the Watergate investigation that ultimately led to his downfall.

When Trump then pressed for "honest loyalty", Comey told him, "You will have that", the associates said.

For the sake of the republic, you can hope for now that Trump is simply making another unfounded claim, as he has done so many times before.

President Donald Trump on Friday floated the idea of discontinuing the White House daily press briefings, a move that Americans across the country would likely not embrace.

Spicer said at Friday's briefing that he occasionally has problems trying to meet with Trump before he talks with reporters because of the president's "very robust schedule". He said at that dinner, Comey told him he was not under investigation. "I would find that very inconsistent with what I know of Jim Comey", Clapper told MSNBC, adding it would have been "out of character for him to ask to stay on".

The White House said Trump is weighing options for replacing Comey, a decision that could have broad implications for the future of the Russian Federation investigation.

In a bizzarre Friday morning tweet President Donald Trump threatened the FBI Director he fired just days ago.

Trump also hit back on Friday at media reports questioning the credibility of White House accounts of why Comey was sacked, which have changed over the course of the week, and threatened an end to regular White House press briefings.

Describing himself as a "very active president", Trump said it was becoming very hard for his surrogates to explain things with flawless accuracy to reporters at the news conferences. As justification, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein produced a memo that cited Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and his insistence that if he had another opportunity, he would have done things the same way.

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