Comey Hopes Trump Taped Their White House Dinner Conversation

Even before he announces his choice for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, President Trump is getting pushback from the Senate, which will need to approve his pick to replace the fired former director, James Comey.

His remarks follow widespread criticism for the White House's shifting explanations and misstatements about the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

White House briefings and press conferences provide substantive and symbolic opportunities for journalists to pose questions to officials at the highest levels of the United States government, he said.

Mr Trump is said to be seething over the flood of leaks pouring out of the White House and into news reports. Trump said in a string of Twitter posts on Friday. "I was going to fire regardless of (their) recommendation", Trump said in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, calling Comey a "showboat" and "grandstander" who led the agency into turmoil.

The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice.

As has happened on previous occasions since Trump took office, different versions rapidly circulated of an event, in this case phone conversations between Comey and Trump and a dinner the pair had at the White House.

Democrats have raised an outcry over the dismissal of Comey, who as FBI chief was in charge of the investigation into Russian meddling in the USA election. Trump slammed the claim and doubled-down on his threat to end press briefings.

He added, "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Tillerson said it's been "well documented" that Russian Federation meddled in the presidential election but defended not bringing the issue up in meetings during Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to Washington last week. Press Sec. Sean Spicer tells me, "I'm not aware of that".

"I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally - and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system", Clapper said "I think as well our institutions are under assault internally".

The White House refusal to elaborate left open several questions: Had Trump, as his predecessor had in the 1970s, been covertly taping conversations? Mr. Rosenstein blasted Mr. Comey for this, saying he was wrong to "usurp" the attorney general's authority and that the director "now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict". He also, like Nixon, has grown increasingly isolated in the White House, recently relying on only a small circle of family members and loyal advisers while livid about the West Wing's failing efforts to get ahead of the damaging Russian Federation story, according to several people close to Trump.

"Even that is possible", he told reporters when asked whether he could announce his nominee by Friday, when he is scheduled to leave for the Mideast and Europe. He said that while he received a scathing assessment of Comey's performance from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday, that memo was not a catalyst for his dramatic decision as the White House had said earlier. He said Spicer is a nice man "but he gets beat up". "Doing away with the briefings would reduce accountability, transparency and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the US system, no political figure is above being questioned".

  • Larry Hoffman