White House Dodges Questions About Possible Comey Tapes

Cameron Gross
May 17, 2017

The Times' report comes one day after another report showed that Trump disclosed secret information to Russian Federation. FILE - In this May 8, 2017, file photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington.

Questioned repeatedly during Monday's press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded with variations of "the president has nothing further on that", or that "that president has made it clear what his position is".

Version One: White House aides initially disputed the premise of the reporting. As president, he has stressed the illegality of leaking classified information and suggested that those who do so should be punished.

Ironically, Trump is who first broached the topic of his interactions with Comey.

President Donald Trump says the White House is "moving rapidly" to select a replacement for ousted FBI Director James Comey.

October 28, 2016: Days before the election, Comey informs Congress by letter that he is reopening the investigation into Clinton's email practices based on new evidence, citing the discovery of emails on a laptop used by a top Clinton aide.

Chaffetz requested that McCabe hand over all memos, notes and recordings of any communications between Comey and Trump.

Soon after the firing, a Comey associate told the AP that Comey recounted being asked by Trump at a January dinner if he would pledge his loyalty.

As reporters huddled off the House floor questioning GOP lawmakers about the Comey memos, another staunch Trump loyalist, Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, walked by and entered the elevator as he quipped: "Almost sounds like fake news".

The top Democrats in the Senate and House also chimed in.

The person who described the Comey memo to the AP was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House denies that account.

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Spicer was also asked how a senior official could feel comfortable having a private conversation with the president, knowing any discussion might be recorded.

He told Comey that Flynn, who was sacked for lying to Pence about the content of his telephone conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the inauguration, hadn't done anything wrong.

Sen. John McCain says the latest revelations out of the Trump White House are "at a point where it's of Watergate size and scale".

And lawmakers have alleged that the sudden ouster was an attempt to stifle the bureau's investigation into Trump associates' ties to Russia's meddling in the campaign.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, also called on Comey to testify before his panel.

The person says the goal of the memos was to keep a record of encounters Comey found odd or troubling. Comey said he replied that "I agree he is a good guy" but said nothing to Trump about limiting the investigation.

It did release a statement saying reports about Comey's memo did not offer "a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey", and that the president "never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn".

In the Trump administration, planning and execution of policy are too often conducted on the fly.

"I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally - and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system", Clapper said "I think as well our institutions are under assault internally". They appear to believe that the appropriate response to a president (ostensibly) confessing to obstruction of justice is to express vague misgivings - or words of encouragement, depending on one's taste - and then turn back to the pressing question of how to strip poor people of their health care with minimal political blowback.

The highly classified information about an Islamic State plot was collected by Israel, a crucial source of intelligence and close partner in the fight against some of the America's fiercest threats in the Middle East. Trump's disclosure of the information threatened to fray that partnership and piled pressure on the White House to explain the apparently on-the-spot decision to reveal the information to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office.

Other reports by BadHub

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