Trump hints he taped Comey conversations in veiled threat

Raging against a political firestorm, President Donald Trump on Friday shot a sharp warning at his ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation director about possible “tapes” of their disputed private conversations, raising the provocative possibility that recording devices have been installed in the White House.

And here’s what Trump tweeted out Thursday.

The president tweeted, “As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!”

The White House said Mr Trump asked his lawyers for the letter to outline information on any ties Trump might have to Russian Federation. “He s simply stating a fact”, Spicer said tersely.

Clapper said America’s founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now under assault and “eroding”. John Conyers and Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, in a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“The president should immediately provide any such recordings to Congress or admit, once again, to have made a deliberately misleading – and in this case threatening – statement”, Schiff said.

Despite the FBI, as well as Senate and House intelligence committees, conducting investigations into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Mr Trump said it was a Democrat conspiracy.

“When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?”

The White House also changed its narrative about whether the president had chose to fire Comey based on the recommendations by Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In an interview on Thursday with NBC News, the president said Comey gave him this assurance during a dinner and in two phone conversations.

In a striking reversal one day earlier, President Trump told NBC News that he planned to fire Comey even before meeting with top-ranking Justice Department officials and soliciting their recommendations on his performance.

“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”, Trump said in an interview with NBC on Thursday.

The man who took over as acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, sidestepped a question during a Senate hearing on Thursday on whether he ever heard Comey tell Trump that the president was not the subject of investigation.

The Comey controversy has rattled lawmakers across the political spectrum.

Rosenstein accepted, although the date was being finalized, a Senate aide said. Comey declined to make that promise but told the president he could count on his honesty, the paper said.

Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday and later said Comey was a “showboat” and “grandstander” who was not doing a good job, drawing a firestorm of criticism.

“I actually asked him, yes. And I hope he will be”, Trump said. He said, You are not under investigation, ” Trump recounted, repeating an assertion made when the White House announced Comey s firing Tuesday.

Their review also notably takes into account only Mr Trump’s returns from the past 10 years, leaving open questions about whether there were financial dealings with Russian Federation in earlier years.

Noted legal scholar Laurence Tribe told AFP that if Comey did indeed answer Trump s question, it would violate Department of Justice rules and “would be unthinkably unethical and unprofessional in this situation”.

“Relish the opportunity to be an outsider”, Trump said.

Mr Comey reportedly learned of his sacking after seeing a breaking news alert at an event in which he was speaking.