May 29, 2017

Trump says he did not ask Comey for his loyalty

19 May 2017, 10:27 | Taylor George

When the White House's defense of the move failed to meet his ever-changing expectations, Trump tried to take over himself.

In each of these cases, Trump would much rather make the claim than back it up. The deputy attorney general's memo cited Comey's news conference last July about the Clinton investigation, raising a "why now?" question about the dismissal.

"What I did is I was going to fire Comey - my decision", Trump told NBC's Lester Holt. He was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. They can make recommendations, but the president will ultimately make the hiring decision.

A former top aide to Sen.

Senior Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats Patrick Leahy and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who oversee funding for the Justice Department, are also trying to clarify that point with Rosenstein.

Comey came to the job with a reputation for courage and independence.

November 6, 2016: Trump criticizes Comey's second letter to Congress, saying Clinton was being protected by a "rigged system" and pronouncing her "guilty", despite the FBI's conclusion that criminal charges were unwarranted. Clapper said America's founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now under assault and "eroding". He also pointed out that there was no collusion between him, his campaign, and the Russians. "He can hire and fire whoever he wants", she said. Trump said the discussions happened in two phone calls and at a dinner in which Comey was asking to keep his job.

Comey has not confirmed Trump's account, which concerns the FBI's probe of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and allegations of Trump campaign collaboration with the Russians.

This would be far from the first time Trump's culled an member of his administration from the ranks of Fox News, undoubtedly the cable news channel that most caters to and promotes his administration, and reportedly one which he watches most voraciously.

In the meantime, the White House has made no complaints about Shcherbak's work. "Then that would have been the big story as opposed to the inauguration", Trump said.

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And today, a person close to the former director recounted a Comey-Trump dinner in January in which Trump asked for a pledge of loyalty.

The White House's explanations continued to crumble throughout the day Thursday.

February 14, 2017: Comey speaks with Trump in the Oval Office a day after Flynn is ousted. "I mean it depends on how you define loyalty".

May 2, 2017: Clinton again lays part of the blame for losing the election on Comey's October 28 letter.

The president said he never pressured Comey into dropping the FBI investigation, and added that there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians". Now the FBI's investigation is tainted, too, as Comey's replacement will be named by the president whose associates are under investigation. But he tells senators: "I can't consider for a second whose political futures will be affected and in what way".

Then, just days before the election, Comey sent a cryptic letter to Congress suggesting that the email saga might not be over after all. Republicans hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate.

The president tweeted on Friday that the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations".

Trump unceremoniously fired Comey late Tuesday afternoon.

Trump said in April he wouldn't fire Spicer because "that guy gets great ratings".

And on Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer refused to deny that Trump may have recorded his conversation with Comey.

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