Trump denies he asked Comey for loyalty, threatens to cancel press briefings

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, proposed the idea after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week.

White House briefings and news conferences provide both "substantive and symbolic opportunities" for journalists to question government officials, said Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters and president of the White House Correspondents Association.

But the tensions over media coverage of the Comey firing are clearly rising.

President Donald Trump abruptly fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Speaking on Saturday to about 50,000 people at Liberty University in Lynchburg, the nation's largest Christian college, Trump made no mention of Comey or the controversy his dismissal on Tuesday caused.

Mr. Trump told Jeanine Pirro in an interview this weekend that he thinks it is a "good idea" to not have press briefings, unless he holds a press conference himself every two weeks.

"Let's say I did it on January 20, the opening, right, and that would have been the big story as opposed to the inauguration", Trump said.

The Associated Press, the New York Times, and The Washington Post all reported Wednesday that Comey had requested additional resources for the Russian Federation investigation in the days leading up his dismissal.

"Here's the thing, the difference between me and another president", Trump said.

"As I've said for the third time, I have nothing more to add on that", Spicer said.

When asked about the tweet, press secretary Sean Spicer refused to talk about it.

But the blowback from Comey's firing left the White House reeling once again. The initial contenders they will see are acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, former Justice Department official Alice Fisher and Michael Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, according to a person familiar with the matter. "But because I terminated him they said, 'we'll get political points and go against Trump.' I assumed it would be fairly popular. this is total obstruction".

USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign of interference in the election aimed at tilting the vote in Trump's favor.

As part of the Russian Federation investigation, the Justice Department last month requested former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's banking records, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

  • Larry Hoffman