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Trump suggests he was trying to keep Comey honest with 'tapes' tweet

26 June, 2017, 01:59 | Author: Melody Ballard
  • Trump suggests he was trying to keep FBI director honest

President Donald Trump said Thursday he "did not make" and doesn't have any recordings of his private conversations with ousted FBI Director James Comey, speaking up on Twitter after a month-long guessing game that began with him delivering an ominous warning and ended with his administration ensnared in more scandal.

Trump fired Comey over dissatisfaction with how the FBI head was handling the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. "But there's been no collusion, no obstruction, and virtually everyone agrees to that".

"Well, I didn't tape him", said Trump, 71.

Asked why he floated the idea that he had recorded conversations between himself and James Comey, President Donald Trump said he did it to pressure the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director to keep his story straight.

Lawmakers investigating allegations of Russian interference in the US election had asked the White House for any such recordings.

Mr Trump's initial Twitter missive about the possibility of tapes triggered a series of consequences, each weightier than the last.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey last month after asking him to scale back the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

On 16 June, Mr Trump sent out a tweet appearing to accept he was under investigation, although later his aides suggested that was not the intention.

But Trump and Spicer's comments Friday went a step further, readily admitting that there was intent to influence Comey.

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The president suggested that Comey's story changed after he issued the threat about tapes.

By speaking of "tapes", the President cavalierly evoked the Watergate scandal and the worst political crisis in the history of the presidency in order to hint that he, like Nixon, was capable of secretly recording his visitors. Did he seek to mislead the public? Comey said he understood that to be a request to drop the probe. But there are other acts that could amount to impeachable offenses - as described by America's founders - such as treason, bribery, "and other high crimes and misdemeanors", with the term "high crimes" having been taken to mean something beyond the items in the criminal code.

Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah said in a joint statement Thursday that they're "not ready to vote for this bill".

Spicer went on to mention an aspect of Comey's testimony that the Trump administration has been eager to amplify: the fact that Comey said Trump himself was not under investigation in the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

President Trump said in an interview on "Fox & Friends" that the hirings are "bothersome".

Reuters was unable to verify the CNN report.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct justice by firing Comey.

"Well, uhhh, it wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that", Trump answered. In special elections for House seats vacated by Republicans who wound up in Trump's Cabinet, Democrats have gone 0-for-4, losing races in Georgia, Montana, South Carolina and Kansas.

A similar dynamic played out in March, when Trump blasted out another shocker of a tweet claiming that Obama had wiretapped him - animplausible assertion that government officials and lawmakers moved quickly to deny.

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