Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

James Comey will not testify before Congress on Tuesday

The veiled threat added to the storm over Trump's abrupt firing of Comey on Tuesday.

Trump said he would not talk about the existence of any tapes. Trump said he asked the FBI director if he was under investigation, a question that legal experts called highly unusual if not improper. "The tweet speaks for itself", he said.

The White House has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation probe.

The New York Times and Associated Press report that, days before he was sacked, Comey had asked Rosenstein for more resources to pursue the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Close associates of Mr. Comey have said that he didn't provide such assurances.

The New York Times reported that Trump pressed Comey for a pledge of loyalty over dinner only a week after his inauguration, according to an account by two associates of the lawman.

Comey's ouster comes as the Federal Bureau of Investigation probes Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including possible ties between Moscow and Trump's campaign.

In an interview with NBC on Thursday, the president revealed that he had spoken with Comey multiple times about the Russian Federation investigation, including two phone calls and a dinner, before ultimately choosing to dismiss him.

"For many people, including myself, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the president's decision to remove Director Comey was related to this investigation". "He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil", Trump told NBC News' Lester Holt.

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The U.S. Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Richard Durbin, slammed the president after Friday's tweet about Comey. That's at odds with with the account given by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who told reporters Trump fired Comey based on the report written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. While I've obviously been wrong before, I'd be surprised if he went that route.

McCabe said "there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date", but promised to inform the Congress should the White House tries to interfere with the FBI investigation.

Democrats have ramped up calls for an independent probe into the Russian Federation issue, and some of the president's fellow Republicans have also said they were concerned about the timing of the move. "Rosie O'Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her", he said.

Trump's latest tweet alluding to the possibility of recordings further added to the heightened drama of the past two days as the White House tries to do damage control on the messaging surrounding Comey's firing.

United States intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered an effort to disrupt the 2016 election that included hacking into Democratic Party emails and leaking them, with the aim of helping Trump. Moscow has denied any such meddling.

In one of his most memorable morning tweet blasts of his still-young presidency, Trump also lashed out at Democrats and the media, while trying to give Spicer and Sanders cover after a rough week.

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

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