Trump Threatens Comey With Possibility of Secret “Tapes”

He also said he may end daily press briefings.

Shcherbak Alexander/TASS/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump fired a warning shot at former FBI Director James Comey on Friday, with a tweet that appeared to insinuate that he might possess recordings of their past conversations.

The implicit threat comes as the latest development in the ongoing uproar sparked by Trump’s decision to unceremoniously fire Comey on Tuesday. The potential existence of any recordings comes with a certain degree of irony, in light of Trump’s continued baseless claim that Barack Obama illegally wiretapped him and his associates.

Since Comey’s shocking dismissal, the White House’s justifications for his dismissal have unraveled: Administration officials initially claimed the president was operating under the recommendation of the Justice Department and that he had lost confidence in Comey due to his handling of the Clinton email investigation. But in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired Thursday night, Trump contradicted the narrative that his own administration—including the vice president himself—had been peddling to the press. He told Holt that he planned to fire the FBI director “regardless of recommendation” and suggested that the bureau’s ongoing Russia probe was the cause of Comey’s ouster. “I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a madeup story,” Trump said. He also admitted to repeatedly asking Comey if he was under federal investigation for possible connections to Russia. The New York Times reported on Friday that on one of these occasions, Trump summoned Comey to dinner and demanded his loyalty.

During his Friday morning tweetstorm, Trump also suggested he may put an end to daily press briefings.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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