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Comey declines to testify before Senate committee

15 Mai 2017

Donald Trump now refuses to discuss tape recordings of conversations with FBI Director James Comey that POTUS suggested in a Friday morning tweet. Trump said in a string of Twitter posts on Friday.

Shortly after the interview was published, Jonathan Karl, the chief White House correspondent for ABC News, asked Sanders if she, Spicer and Pence had been "left in the dark" about Trump's decision making or had been misled.

"That's frankly offensive", Spicer said. The FBI director's firing has raised concern in some corners about the impartiality of that investigation moving forward and has renewed calls for an independent investigation.

He argued later on NBC that it was important for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor in the case because such a person would have "the ability to actually prosecute people for violations of law".

This could be viewed as an effort to intimidate Comey, a potential witness in an investigation into Trump and his campaign.

Senate Intel Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner said he's hoping to hear from Comey in the "not-to-distant future".

Comey will not appear, as previously scheduled, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday. "However, because of the many false statements made by White House officials this week, we are compelled to ask whether any such recordings do in fact exist".

"He told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not "reliable" in the conventional political sense", the Times reported.

Is it the details of the Comey-Trump dinner and the president's hints of secret "tapes"?

Trump has claimed that Comey told him on all three occasions that he wasn't personally under investigation. He said in an interview on Thursday with NBC News that Comey gave him this assurance during the January dinner at the White House and in two phone conversations. Trump said Comey wanted to have the dinner because he wanted to stay on in the job.

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Trump also said that at the dinner, he and Comey discussed whether the USA top cop would stay in his role and continue his ten-year term.

"White House briefings and press conferences provide substantive and symbolic opportunities for journalists to pose questions to officials at the highest levels of the USA government", said WHCA president Jeff Mason in a statement.

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

And he dismissed questions on whether Trump was threatening Comey.

Associates of Mr Comey, however, have been outspoken on the issue, casting doubt on the official White House narrative of his firing.

Trump's popularity didn't seem to take a significant hit from the Comey investigation - it dropped one point from last month's NBC/WSJ survey to 39% support.

The first line of Mr Trump's letter sacking Mr Comey refers to a memo written by Mr Rosenstein and says: "I have accepted their recommendation".

Trump told Fox News he was surprised by the fierce reaction of Democrats. All I want is for Comey to be honest.

And while he had no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump team, Graham said, "the president needs to back off and let the investigation go forward". Moscow has denied any such meddling.