'Witness Intimidation': Trump May Have Crossed Legal Lines With Comey Tweet

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

White House press secretary Sean Spicer listens to national security adviser H.R. McMaster during the daily news conference at the White House on Friday. "The president wants loyalty to this country and to the rule of law".

The president, who has been angered by continuing news coverage of the Russian Federation investigation, also threatened to cancel press briefings as his communications team faced criticism for issuing different versions of the decision to fire Mr Comey.

"It's ultimately going to be his decision to hire someone or to fire someone", said Spicer on Trump's decision to fire Comey.

An individual familiar with Comey's thinking says the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director is not anxious about the possible existence of any tapes from his meeting with President Trump.

Clapper also found himself a subject of Trump's tweets on Friday, when the president mis-characterized his testimony at a May 8 congressional hearing. "I would note that NY is a one-party consent state, and President Trump has always abided by the law", said Sam Nunberg, a former campaign aide, noting that it is not required in NY for both parties on a call to be aware that it was being recorded. "The tweet speaks for itself".

An individual familiar with Comey's thinking told CBS News on Friday that Comey is not anxious about the existence of any tapes. He declined to do so at least twice during the dinner, The Times reported, citing two people close to Comey who had knowledge of the conversation.

Why is Watergate in the news again?

The top Democrats on the House judiciary and oversight committees wrote to the White House on Friday demanding copies of any recordings.

News of Comey's firing certainly created some divisions among Republican politicians, who have expressed concern with Trump's decision to fire a man now investigating the administration.

That's far different from the White House's initial account in the hours after Comey's firing. Comey, even if he were inclined to, couldn't say: "'You're cleared'". In this case, Mr Trump has the media scrambling to decide which story merits the most coverage.

Trump told Pirro that he thinks it is a "good idea" to not have press conferences, making the suggestion for the second time in one day. His threat to cancel press briefings?

When everything is a big story, nothing is. Thirty-five percent said Trump was right to remove Comey, and nearly the same share of voters said Trump should have kept Comey (33 percent) as were undecided or didn't know (32 percent).

Representative Gerry Connolly (Democrat-Virginia) accused Trump of witness intimidation after the Comey tweet.

But in an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt aired on Thursday, Trump said - surprise! - that he had made a decision to fire Comey before Rosenstein weighed in with his criticism.

In addition to the Friday morning tweet barrage, Trump called Comey, who was leading the FBI's Russian Federation probe, a "showboat" and "grandstander" in the NBC interview, and contradicted the timeline of the firing outlined by his aides and Vice President Michael Pence.

"He's simply stated a fact", Spicer said.

Trump refused to talk about the possibility of recordings during an interview with Fox News Channel. "I said, "If it's possible would you let me know, am I under investigation?"

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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