Trump warns Comey over media leak

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 12 May 2017, 21:15:17

Trump warns Comey over media leak

US President Donald Trump has warned fired FBI chief James Comey against leaking material to the media, reports BBC.

In a tweet on Friday, he said Comey had "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations".

Comey, who had been leading an inquiry into possible collusion between Trump election campaign officials and Russia, was fired on Tuesday.

Trump has since insisted he was told by Comey that he was not under investigation.

Once over dinner and twice over the phone Comey had told him he was not a target of the inquiry, the US president said.

His comments raised accusations among opponents that he was interfering in the investigation.

Trump also said this week that he alone was responsible for the decision to sack Comey, calling him a "showboat" and "grandstander".

But this explanation appeared to undermine earlier comments from administration officials that Comey had been fired on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein.

The first line of Trump's letter sacking Comey refers to a memo written by Rosenstein and says: "I have accepted their recommendation".

But he later told NBC he was "going to fire him regardless of the recommendation".

Apparently angered by criticism of the different accounts, Trump used another of his tweets on Friday to say: "As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!"

He added: "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

Trump has dismissed the FBI investigation as a "charade" and has said Democrats are using "fake news" about collusion with the Russians as an excuse for losing the election.

It was unclear whether Trump's reference to "tapes" suggested there might be secret recordings of conversations that could be used to challenge any statements by Comey, or whether it was simply a way of warding him off from commenting.

But the reference has done nothing to silence the echoes of the Watergate affair that have resounded around the Russian interference inquiry.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon sacked Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor who was seeking access to tapes of presidential conversations that ultimately led to Nixon's resignation.
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