Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

US Gov't 'Under Assault' by Trump After Comey Firing: Clapper

In an ominous warning, President Donald Trump declared Friday that fired FBI Director James Comey had better hope there are no "tapes" of their private conversations. The new director will nearly certainly have to work to maintain the bureau's credibility by asserting political independence in the face of a president known for demanding loyalty from the people he appoints.

"The president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created", Graham said, adding, "I have no evidence the president colluded with the Russians at all, but we don't know all the evidence yet". Details of the dinner were first reported by The New York Times.

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. 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.

Calling Trump's remarks about possible taped conversations "outrageous", Sen.

"Are there recording devices in the Oval Office or in the residence?"

The White House had no immediate comment and no White House aide appeared on the Sunday news shows, leaving Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, to defend Trump.

Phone call recordings would be less out of the ordinary, however.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, continued to argue that the president should consider Merrick Garland, the federal judge nominated to the Supreme Court previous year by President Barack Obama but who was denied a hearing by Republicans.

"Relish the opportunity to be an outsider", Trump said.

Democrats cast the decision to fire Comey as an effort to obstruct the FBI's probe, a charge the White House has denied.

It was not clear when Comey would speak for himself.

Comey has not yet responded to the Senate intelligence committee's invitation to testify in closed session next week, Democratic and Republican spokespersons for the committee told CNN Friday.

The face-to-face meeting between the president and the director raised other concerns.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told CNN, "He took the recommendation of his deputy attorney general".

Rogers, an ex-FBI agent and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has drawn the backing of the FBI Agents Association.

July 5, 2016: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calls the FBI's decision not to bring criminal charges against Clinton the greatest example yet that the system is "rigged".

The swirling controversy has obliterated any momentum from the House passage of the Republican health care bill last week and threatens to overshadow Trump's first worldwide trip, beginning next week, in which the president will meet with leaders in both the Middle East and Europe. Trump said in an interview with NBC that the Russian Federation investigation factored into his decision to fire Comey.

"This remains, I think, a political problem only", Blackman, the law professor, said.

The tweet likely references two different accounts of a dinner Trump and Comey shared in the White House in January.

In an interview with Fox News Channel's Jeannine Pirro set to air Saturday, Trump suggested eliminating the daily briefings and instead having one every two weeks - conducted by him. Trump tweeted. "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

So far 14 people - lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials among them - have emerged as candidates.

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