Donald Trump rejects congressional sexual harassment probe
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Spicer Shuts Down Questions on Trump Tweet During Friday Press Briefing
17 May 2017, 02:22 | Kara Nash
His assertions came as Comey's temporary replacement joined in, contradicting other administration statements on the snowballing controversy.
"I think he's a little dismayed", Press Secretary Spicer said.
"This is our job", Burr said.
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.
He also said that his March 5 statement to Meet the Press that he had not seen any evidence of collusion had been made before former FBI Director James Comey had testified to Congress about the investigation.
The President has spoken out extensively about his treatment from the White House press corps.
The initial White House rationale was that Trump acted on the recommendation of the Justice Department's top two officials.
The shifting accounts of the decision to fire Comey, whom Trump derided as a "showboat" and "grandstander", added to a mounting sense of uncertainty and chaos in the West Wing, as aides scrambled to get their stories straight and appease an angry president.
The White House's explanations continued to crumble throughout the day Thursday. His other tweets included thoughts on fired FBI Director Comey and the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.
The conversation that night in January, Mr Comey now believes, was a harbinger of his downfall this week as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said two people who have heard his account. "It just matters that the president is brushing up against these lines", said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas at Austin national security law professor.
It's unclear what Trump meant when he tweeted about "tapes" on Friday morning. Trump's comments demonstrated his striking deviation from that practice. Comey, they said, declined to make such a pledge but told Trump he would always give him "honesty".
Trump and Comey's relationship was strained early on, in part because of the president's explosive and unsubstantiated claims that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
The White House, in announcing Mr Comey's dismissal on Tuesday, released documents from the attorney-general and deputy attorney- general on why he should be fired. But Rosenstein did not recommend that Comey be fired, noting that although Trump had the power to do so, "the decision should not be taken lightly".
Capping a week in which Trump faced a slew of criticism for firing the man investigating his campaign's possible ties to Russia, Trump told James Comey there could be retribution if he tells the press about their private conversations.
Noted legal scholar Laurence Tribe told AFP 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".
"If there was an effort to use presidential power to thwart an investigation, that is another way of describing obstruction of justice", Gerhardt said. 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 US compound in Benghazi, Libya. He said there has been no interference so far.
But McCabe characterized the investigation as "highly significant" and assured senators that Comey's firing would not hinder it.
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