Trump Threatens Comey With Possibility of Secret “Tapes”

He also said he may end daily press briefings.

Shcherbak Alexander/TASS/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump fired a warning shot at former FBI Director James Comey on Friday, with a tweet that appeared to insinuate that he might possess recordings of their past conversations.

The implicit threat comes as the latest development in the ongoing uproar sparked by Trump’s decision to unceremoniously fire Comey on Tuesday. The potential existence of any recordings comes with a certain degree of irony, in light of Trump’s continued baseless claim that Barack Obama illegally wiretapped him and his associates.

Since Comey’s shocking dismissal, the White House’s justifications for his dismissal have unraveled: Administration officials initially claimed the president was operating under the recommendation of the Justice Department and that he had lost confidence in Comey due to his handling of the Clinton email investigation. But in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired Thursday night, Trump contradicted the narrative that his own administration—including the vice president himself—had been peddling to the press. He told Holt that he planned to fire the FBI director “regardless of recommendation” and suggested that the bureau’s ongoing Russia probe was the cause of Comey’s ouster. “I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a madeup story,” Trump said. He also admitted to repeatedly asking Comey if he was under federal investigation for possible connections to Russia. The New York Times reported on Friday that on one of these occasions, Trump summoned Comey to dinner and demanded his loyalty.

During his Friday morning tweetstorm, Trump also suggested he may put an end to daily press briefings.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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