Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

James Comey Reportedly Willing to Testify, But Wants to Do So Publicly

James Comey Reportedly Willing to Testify, But Wants to Do So Publicly

Trump's nominee must be confirmed in the Senate, where Democrats and some Republicans have fiercely criticized Comey's firing.

Lawmakers from both parties reprimanded Trump for his actions, which included shifting explanations from the White House for Comey's dismissal and an ominous tweet by Trump that warned Comey against leaks to the press because Trump may have "tapes" of their conversations.

"On the dinner with James Comey, does anyone in this White House have an audio recording of what unfolded during the January 27th dinner between the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director and the president of the United States?" he was asked. When Trump then pressed for "honest loyalty", Comey told him, "You will have that", the associates said. Trump's administration claimed, in a memo by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Trump referenced in his firing of Comey, that Comey lost support due to his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server. At a Senate hearing last Thursday, he heaped praise on his former boss and rebutted narratives advanced by the White House, including a bid to minimise the Russian Federation probe. During the campaign, Mr. Trump's aides told reporters that they feared their offices were bugged and that they were careful about what they said.

In a sudden move late Tuesday night, Trump fired Comey, who had six more years left in his term.

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, setting off a wave of backlash that has included Democratic calls for a special prosecutor.

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The BBC's Laura Bicker in Washington says Mr Trump was referring to a private White House dinner in January during which the president claims Mr Comey assured him he was not being investigated over alleged links to Russian Federation. "As I said for the third time, there is nothing further to add on that". "The tweet speaks for itself", Spicer said.

"If so, we request copies of all recordings in possession of the White House regarding this matter", they said.

Trump tweeted Friday that his staff can't be expected to be "perfectly accurate" in the briefing room, and mused about canceling press briefings altogether.

Unfortunately for the press and the public it intends to serve, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer provided no clarity.

"Well, that I can't talk about", Trump said Thursday in an interview with Fox News. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, respectively, demand that any such tapes be turned over to Congress.

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