Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Fmr Intel Chief: Trump 'Assaulting' Institutions Created By Founders

Fmr Intel Chief: Trump 'Assaulting' Institutions Created By Founders

He tells reporters that it's possible an announcement on James Comey's replacement could come before then.

Spicer refused to confirm or deny whether Trump had recordings of Comey, despite being asked several times.

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" the president tweeted yesterday.

Friday morning, in the midst of a series of tweets in which Trump addressed the investigation into Russian collusion with his campaign to influence the presidential election and downplayed any role the probe played in his determination to fire Comey, the president raised the prospect of suspending the briefings.

The White House is reportedly considering a wide, fluid list of other possible candidates including Trey Gowdy, a Republican Congressman from SC and former federal prosecutor who presided over the House's Benghazi special investigation.

"Everybody's convinced: They say there is no collusion", Trump said on "Justice with Jeanine".

Trump conducted a television interview with NBC's Lester Holt in which he said one of the reasons he fired the FBI chief was because Comey was too focused on investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation instead of the "real story" - leaks from the federal government to the media.

"All I want is for Comey to be honest and I hope he will be and I'm sure he will be - I hope", he said.

"I think the process is going to move quickly", Trump said while aboard Air Force One to give a college commencement speech. On Thursday night, The New York Times reported that Comey did not request the meeting but rather was "summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief".

Trump began by acknowledging the FBI investigation into Clinton helped him as a presidential candidate.

Trump started the week by firing the FBI chief - only the second time that's happened in the bureau's history - and ended it by tweeting a barely veiled threat against Comey that also raised the specter of a USA president again secretly recording his White House conversations.

"Well, that I can't talk about". His administration then spent the next three days telling a shifting story about why Trump chose to fire Comey when he did.

Later, however, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump had actually been considering firing Comey for months, and that he had asked Sessions and Rosenstein for their recommendations.

Indeed, David Cohen, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, noted to MNSBC's Andrea Mitchell yesterday how striking it was to see the president having a grand old time in the Oval Office with a Russian who's a potential figure in an FBI investigation.

"Are there recording devices in the Oval Office or the residence?" Trump said in a string of Twitter posts on Friday.

Meanwhile, President Trump is facing growing questions about whether he secretly recorded his conversations with Mr Comey.

One of those sources, a former senior F.B.I. official, also pushed back on Trump's assertion that Comey informed him he was not under investigation.

Obstruction is "a very mental-state-based crime", said Duke University law professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor.

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