Trump says he did not ask Comey for his loyalty

Claudine Rigal
Mai 18, 2017

Comey has not confirmed Trump's account.

As reported in the New York Times last July: "Ms". Comey declined, instead offering "honest".

In his letter about the firing, the president said Comey told him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation.

The president's morning Twitter comments again raised the specter of Richard Nixon, who secretly taped conversations and telephone calls in the White House during the Watergate investigation that ultimately led to his downfall.

The White House has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation probe.

Noted legal scholar Laurence Tribe told the agencies that if Comey did indeed answer Trump's question, it would violate Department of Justice rules and "would be unthinkably unethical and unprofessional in this situation".

Trump's tweets come after a week of multiple contradictions by his top aides and advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence, who tried to explain the how and the why the president made a decision to sack Comey. But Trump on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that the Russian Federation investigation - which he dismissed as a "made-up story" - was also on his mind as he ousted the man overseeing the probe. Not even Vice President Mike Pence was spared the embarrassment of having told a version of events that was later discredited by Trump.

The White House rejected the suggestion that the exchange was inappropriate.

Donald Trump warned ousted FBI Director James Comey on Friday not to talk to the media.

In a flood of angry tweets Friday morning, President Trump threatened to cancel press briefings as he continues to grapple with the fallout from his abrupt firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation directory James Comey and the conflicting stories he and his aides have told about it.

For what it's worth, Trump used the same quotes method when he accused former president Barack Obama of wiretapping his offices.

"He said, 'You are not under investigation, '" Trump recounted, repeating an assertion made when the White House announced Comey's firing Tuesday. Trump said in a tweet that he followed up in a second missive: "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???" "Regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey".

That's far different that the White House's initial account in the hours after Comey's firing. Mr. Rosenstein blasted Mr. Comey for this, saying he was wrong to "usurp" the attorney general's authority and that the director "now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict".

Trump told NBC's Lester Holt: "And in fact when I made a decision 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'". Briefly during the presidential transition, Trump aides had discussed moving press out of the briefing room. The White House did not immediately respond to questions from the Washington Post about whether Trump had the conversations between the men recorded. Some senior officials have discussed nominating Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who ran the House committee that investigated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's actions in connection with the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.

That coverage of the Comey story prompted the Friday tweet storm from the president, who also continued to loudly deny that he or his team had anything to do with Russia's hacking Democrats during the 2016 election.

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