Trump Escalates Feud with Ousted FBI Director Comey

Trump Escalates Feud with Ousted FBI Director Comey

Trump Escalates Feud with Ousted FBI Director Comey

Speaking with NBC News, Trump said he had planned to fire the FBI director all along and suggested the Russian Federation investigation was getting under his skin. Trump told Holt he'd asked Comey on three separate occasions whether he was under investigation, which would appear to violate protocol, if not the law.

The president also said he reached out to FBI Director James Comey to find out if he was under FBI investigation, explaining that he talked to Comey once during a dinner and twice by phone.

"In fact, when I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story; it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", Trump said.

He refused to comment on what Comey did or didn't say, but when asked whether it would be common for an FBI director to notify someone they were not the target of an investigation, said "I'm not aware of that being a standard practice". Press secretary Sean Spicer, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, vice president Mike Pence, and Trump himself have all offered varying explanations for why the Federal Bureau of Investigation director was sacked.

Trump sent out two tweets Friday that suggested he would cancel White House press briefings and instead hand out written statements to communicate with the public.

Mr Trump fired Mr Comey on Tuesday, later saying that "he wasn't doing a good job".

What exactly would Comey tell us and the Sentate Intelligence Committee? The FBI is a powerful machine, with thousands of agents, and the ones I know, both active-duty and retired, think Trump's derision of the investigation was an insult to the institution.

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It was the first time that Trump had explicitly tied the Russian Federation probe to his rationale for firing Comey.

Spicer's conspicuous non-denial drew comparisons to the secretly-taped conversations and telephone calls that led to President Richard Nixon's downfall in the Watergate scandal in 1972.

"I said, 'If it's possible, would you let me know, am I under investigation?' He said you are not under investigation", Trump said.

Comey has not publicly discussed any conversations he has had with Trump.

The embattled White House spokesman Sean Spicer - who had been off for a few days on Naval Reserve duty - returned to the podium Friday, where he faced a grilling from reporters. Multiple officials, including Pence, said the president was acting at the behest of Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. On Thursday Trump said he would have fired Comey regardless of any such recommendations.

Officials first said Comey had been dismissed over his handling of the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of private email while at the State Department.

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