Sean Spicer doesn’t comment on whether Trump recorded Comey conversations

 

 

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer refused to answer questions Friday about whether there are recording devices in the White House or if the president recorded a conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey, after the president tweeted that Comey had “better hope that there are no ‘tapes'” of conversations between the two of them.

“The president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said multiple times in his first briefing since Comey’s firing, refusing to say any more beyond characterizing the tweet as “not a threat.” Comey was in charge of the FBI investigation into Russian election meddling until he was abruptly fired Tuesday. Since then, questions continue to mount about the timing and the reasoning behind Mr. Trump’s decision to fire Comey. 

The White House has claimed Mr. Trump fired Comey because he lost the confidence of rank-and-file FBI employees and because of a Tuesday recommendation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Comey over his handling of the Clinton email investigation. But Mr. Trump himself on Thursday contradicted initial statements (as well as his own termination letter of Comey), claiming he was going to fire Comey regardless of any DOJ recommendation. He added in an interview with NBC Thursday that when he decided to fire Comey, he thought of the “made-up” story about his connections to Russia.

“The bottom line is, is that the director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the president,” Spicer said Friday.

CBS News confirmed a New York Times story Thursday that during their dinner in January, that Mr. Trump asked whether Comey would be loyal to him, and that Comey pledged only that he would be honest. Spicer denied that the president would ever ask for personal loyalty from the FBI director. 

Spicer also said he did not know whether the president consulted White House legal counsel before asking Comey if he was under investigation, a question the president asked “because the narrative continues to be perpetuated” that Mr. Trump has ties to Russia. Mr. Trump claimed in his termination letter to Comey that the FBI director had told him on three occasions that he was not under investigation. 

Spicer also backed up Mr. Trump’s tweeted assertion that Clapper “says there’s no collusion” between his campaign’s associates and Russia, asserted that Clapper had said “multiple times” that “‘there was no collusion.'” “It’s interesting how the story changed,” Spicer said of the former DNI.    

The president suggested Friday morning over Twitter that maybe “it would be best to cancel” the White House press briefings, after Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave an account of the decision to fire Comey that was in direct conflict with what Mr. Trump said later. The president suggested, again over Twitter, that because he’s such “a very active president,” that his surrogates can’t speak for him “with perfect accuracy.”

Asked about this, Spicer…

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