Sean Spicer Rebuts Report that Trump Asked Comey to Pledge His Loyalty

Elias Hubbard
May 15, 2017

The New York Times and Associated Press report that, days before he was sacked, Comey had asked Rosenstein for more resources to pursue the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

At the briefing Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer - whose job Trump told Fox News Channel was safe amid reports that it might not be - avoided directly discussing Trump's threat to cancel the custom, saying only that Trump was "dismayed" with the news media.

President Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey this week sent shockwaves through Washington.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Trump said Thursday he chose to fire Comey on his own, before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's memo that harshly criticized Comey's actions and suggested he should be removed.

Former FBI Director James Comey has declined an invitation to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week, an aide to the committee's chairman, GOP Sen.

Trump said in his brief statement about firing Comey on Tuesday that the FBI chief had told him three times that he was not under investigation in the Russian Federation probe.

"Presidents often think they have a press problem, when in fact what they have is political problems", said Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential historian who focuses on White House communications.

Lawyers for Mr Trump said that a review of his last 10 years of tax returns did not reflect "any income of any type from Russian sources", but the letter included exceptions related to previously cited income generated from a beauty pageant and sale of a Florida estate. "That would be flawless".

Spicer also refused to rule out a potential end to White House briefings, which Trump threatened on Twitter on Friday.

The silence from the Republican leadership in the face of Trump's appalling affront to the Constitution is rank hypocrisy compared to their high-pitched howling over former president Bill Clinton's impromptu tarmac meeting in Phoenix last June with then-attorney general Loretta Lynch when the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton's emails.

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.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told MSNBC on Friday he had spoken to Mr Comey before the dinner, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation head had said he was "uneasy" about it as it might compromise his inquiry. He had argued that his surrogates can not be expected to "stand at podium with ideal accuracy".

"I think it's a good idea ... you have a level of hostility that's incredible and it's very unfair", Trump said. On Thursday Trump said he would have fired Comey regardless of any such recommendations. Trump said there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians", and that "the Russians did not affect the vote".

The White House fired Comey on Tuesday, initially citing his mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server as the reason. Moscow has denied any such meddling.

"The challenge they have is that the president sometimes moves so rapidly that they don't get a team around that gets it organized", said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and Trump ally.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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