Day 132

May 12, 2017 Chapter 3 – The Donald

President Donald Trump issued a thinly veiled threat Friday to fired FBI Director James Comey, apparently suggesting there are possibly recorded conversations between the two men that could be leaked to counter the former FBI director if necessary.

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,” Trump tweeted.

The remark is an extraordinary development in the ongoing feud between the President and the agencies investigating alleged ties between his campaign and White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at an afternoon briefing that Trump’s warning was “not a threat,” adding, “The President has nothing further to say on that.”

When he fired Comey earlier this week, Trump garnered comparisons to President Richard Nixon and his infamous decision to remove the special prosecutor investigating Watergate crimes in 1973. The Watergate scandal accelerated drastically when it was revealed Nixon taped conversations in the White House. Trump didn’t provide further details Friday on whether he was taping conversations.

Asked whether Trump was recording conversations in the White House, Spicer repeated his statement that Trump had nothing further to add.

Comey is “not worried about any tapes” of conversations between him and Trump, a source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday, adding that “if there is a tape, there’s nothing he is worried about” that could be on it.

Trump threatens Comey in Twitter outburst

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Day 131

May 11, 2017 Chapter 2 – Andrew McCabe

The absence of former FBI Director James Comey loomed large over the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing with top U.S. intelligence leaders, but his temporary replacement, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, assured lawmakers he would not bend to pressure from the White House.

“You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution,” McCabe said.

McCabe directly contradicted White House assertions that one of the reasons Comey was fired by President Trump on Tuesday was because he had lost the respect and support of the FBI rank and file.

“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” McCabe said, saying he holds Comey in the “absolute highest regard.”

McCabe also said the FBI’s ongoing probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign was “highly significant,” disputing a White House characterization that the investigation “was one of the smallest things that they’ve got going on their plate.”

“It is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation vigorously and completely,” McCabe said.

Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., noted that Comey’s absence was atop his mind and that he had plenty of questions for McCabe and the other intelligence leaders about the Russia probe.

“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the president’s decision to remove Director Comey was related to the Russia investigation,” Warner said, “and that is truly unacceptable.”

McCabe assured Warner that he would alert the committee if anyone tried to influence the FBI probe into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. He later said he would not update the White House on the ongoing Russia investigation.

Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., made it clear in his opening statement that he wanted the hearing to be about more than just Russia and reiterated that the hearing at large was supposed to be about worldwide threats. But questions about Russia, the ongoing FBI investigation and Comey’s dismissal dominated the hearing.

McCabe: You Cannot Stop ‘The FBI From Doing The Right Thing’

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Day 130

May 10, 2017 – And So It Begins – Chapter 1 – James Comey

An unexpected announcement yesterday afternoon from Washington, D.C. U.S. President Donald Trump fired James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It’s very unusual for a president to fire the head of the FBI, though it has happened before.

In a letter to the FBI chief, President Trump wrote: While I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you were not able to lead the bureau.

One thing that is under investigation, formerly lead by Director Comey, was whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with alleged Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. President Trump has called that story phony, but critics say it was inappropriate for the president to fire Comey while that investigation is going on.

Another reason why Comey was a controversial figure in the government, Democrats and Republicans have criticized how he handled controversies related to Hillary Clinton’s email use from when she was secretary of state. Critics say those controversies influenced last year’s election when she was the Democratic presidential nominee.

CNN 10 May 10, 2017

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