Trump warns sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation chief over media leaks

Lawrence Kim
May 20, 2017

Democratic lawmakers and others have pushed for the move in the wake of the controversy over President Donald Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

"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.

Trump went on to slam Democrats as "hypocrites" due to their previous condemnations of Comey and his handling of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. The FBI has been investigating alleged Russian meddling in the USA election and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign. President Obama appointed Comey to a 10-year term as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in 2013.

In an interview with NBC News's Lester Holt on Thursday, the president said: "I was going to fire regardless of recommendation".

The decision is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, where Republicans have a majority.

March 20, 2017: Comey testifies to Congress that the FBI has been investigating possible links between Trump associates and Russian officials since July, the same month he held an unusual news conference to discuss the investigation into Clinton.

Furious with the news coverage of the White House's shifting explanations on Comey's sacking, Trump suggested the media was wrong to expect his spokespeople to be 100 percent accurate.

But whether the unfolding controversy ultimately puts Trump's presidency at risk is more a question of politics than law.

Mr Trump abruptly fired Mr Comey on Tuesday and later said Mr Comey was a "showboat" and "grandstander" who was not doing a good job, drawing a firestorm of criticism.

The New York Times reported that Trump pressed Comey for a pledge of loyalty over dinner only a week after his inauguration, according to an account by two associates of the lawman.

January 6, 2017: Comey is among a group of four top USA intelligence officials who brief the president-elect on their conclusions that Russian Federation meddled in the presidential election on his behalf.

"I don't think that's a threat".

Meanwhile, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of IL, said Friday that Trump was "dangerous" and that "his credibility has been destroyed".

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with ideal accuracy!", the president tweeted.

Trump suggested they might be replaced with written responses "for the sake of accuracy".

Trump made the tweet shortly after The New York Times, citing two anonymous sources, reported that Comey believed he was sacked partly because of his refusal to pledge his loyalty to the president.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted last week found that 62% of Republicans and just 16% of Democrats thought Trump was right to fire Comey, while 58% of Republicans and just 9% of Democrats told NBC they approved of Trump's decision.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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