Trump Warns Comey About 'Leaking'; Suggests Canceling All Future WH Press Briefings

Trump's top spokesman refused to comment on whether listening devices are active in the Oval Office or elsewhere, a non-denial that recalled the secretly taped conversations and telephone calls that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon's downfall in the Watergate scandal. Their review also notably takes into account only Trump's returns from the past 10 years, leaving open questions about whether there were financial dealings with Russian Federation in earlier years.

The president said Comey told him once during the dinner and twice by phone that he wasn't being investigated.

The firing of Comey already has left Trump with the dubious distinction of being the first president since Nixon to dismiss a law enforcement official overseeing an investigation tied to the White House.

The man who took over as acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, sidestepped a question during a Senate hearing on Thursday on whether he ever heard Comey tell Trump that the president was not the subject of investigation.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation probe and parallel congressional investigations have clouded Trump's presidency since he took office on January 20, threatening to overwhelm his policy priorities.

Mr Clapper - who said in March that there was "no evidence" the Trump campaign collluded with Russia's election-meddling efforts - clarified his remarks overnight, saying "I don't know" if evidence exists.

When asked if Trump requested loyalty from Comey during a dinner, Spicer said that did not happen and the president wanted loyalty to the country and rule of the law. Officials did not immediately respond to questions about whether Trump recorded his discussions with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director. But panel aides told AFP that Comey has declined.

An early morning tweetstorm from US President Donald Trump warned darkly that ex-FBI Director James Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press".

Comey reportedly replied that he would offer his honesty.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed the report and said the president would "never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty".

Trump told Fox News he would decide in "the next couple of weeks" whether the briefings would continue. "He's unsafe because he may be obstructing justice in terms of the investigation. and secondly his credibility has been destroyed".

But in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt that aired Thursday evening, Trump said he was going to fire Comey "regardless" of the recommendation, and he said it was all his decision.

"As a very active president with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!", he wrote.

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???"

"In fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", the Republican president told NBC.

"Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election", he wrote.

Mr Comey has not commented since he was sacked.

Now, Mr Trump appears concerned about what Mr Comey might say about his removal.

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