Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

After Comey firing, Trump's frustrations boiled over

President Donald Trump threatened to shut down daily press briefings Friday as he sought to defend his White House from criticism of its shifting explanations and misstatements about the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

"I think the process is going to move quickly because nearly all of them (candidates) are well-known", Trump said. Forty-eight percent of Americans consider the Trump administration's relationship with Russian Federation a somewhat or very serious problem, virtually identical to the 47 percent who said the same earlier this week. White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Friday repeatedly declined to clarify whether such tapes exist.

Trump, who is scheduled to leave Friday on his first overseas trip as president, told reporters Saturday that it was possible he could announce his selection before then.

WH spokesman complains that "every word is picked apart" by the press covering him.
In his interview, Schumer also said that he supports blocking Trump's eventual nominee until the Justice Department names a special prosecutor to investigate Russia's meddling.

The president showed no concern that the inquiry could be viewed as interference into an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe - or that his conduct could be seen as a warning to Comey's eventual successor to steer clear of questions about the campaign's possible ties to Russia's election meddling. She would be the FBI's first female director, if chosen by Trump and subsequently confirmed by the Senate.

"From a constitutional perspective, Trump can make whatever demands of his principal officers he wishes, and can fire them at will", said Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston.

"Oh I was going to fire regardless of recommendation", he told Holt.

Democrats say they may try to block Trump's nominee, whomever it might be; at least one leading Republican and many Democrats are saying the appointee shouldn't be a political figure. Trump's tweet came the morning after he asserted Comey had told him three times he wasn't under FBI investigation. Trump and Comey's relationship was strained early on, in part because of the president's explosive and unsubstantiated claims that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

Conflicting stories have emerged this week from Trump and associates close to Comey over whether Trump had asked Comey if he was under investigation and over whether Comey had answered.

Gonzales criticized Comey in the lead-up to the November 8 election after the former FBI chief informed lawmakers that the agency was looking at emails potentially related to its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

In his short letter to Comey, Trump made a specific point of mentioning that he "appreciated" how the FBI told him three times he was not personally under investigation over Russian Federation. Not everyone agreed with each Comey decisions, but he was a popular and well-regarded director, they said.

-Former Rep. Mike Rogers of MI, who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

But McCabe characterized the investigation as "highly significant" and assured senators Comey's firing would not hinder it. And few administration officials appeared on television programs to face questions about Trump's firing of Comey. He said there has been no interference so far.

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