Trump warns ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation chief not to leak to media, threatens 'tapes'

Sources say that inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation, many agents feel Comey has been treated shabbily.

"Did the president tell Comey he could keep his job if he ended the investigation?" In an interview on Thursday with NBC News, the president said Comey gave him this assurance during a dinner and in two phone conversations.

Spicer: As I said for the third time, there is nothing further to add on that.

But this appeared to undermine earlier comments from administration officials that Mr Comey had been fired on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein. While I've obviously been wrong before, I'd be surprised if he went that route.

Comey has not confirmed Trump's account. He said at that dinner, Comey told him he was not under investigation.

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDeputy AG sees no need for special prosecutor on Russian Federation: report Feinstein calls for deputy AG to name special prosecutor or resign Deputy attorney general to brief Senate next week after Comey firing MORE (D-Ill.) said Friday that Rosenstein must either name a special prosecutor or resign.

As the Comey firing and the Russian Federation probe consumed cable news networks and the internet, the administration announced an agreement with China to promote market access for US natural gas, financial services and beef. Later Friday, a spokeswoman for committee chairman Richard Burr (R., N.C.) said Mr. Comey would not testify on Tuesday, as requested.

That plan never came to fruition, although the White House has changed the briefing process from the Obama administration's protocol by calling on more conservative outlets and allowing journalists to ask questions remotely via Skype.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper raised doubt about Trump's assertion that Comey had assured him he was not under investigation.

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with ideal accuracy!", the president tweeted.

Mr. Spicer said Friday that any problems of accuracy were due to Mr. Trump's "busy and robust schedule".

The White House said Mr Comey was sacked over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email affair, but Democrats have asked, if that is the case, why it took so long.

He followed up by attempting to defend his team by saying it's not their fault if they don't speak with "perfect accuracy" - and suggested that he would be open to ending future press briefings. "It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won", Trump said.

Comey had been overseeing a criminal investigation into suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential campaign and potential ties to the Trump campaign. Moscow has denied any such meddling.

A letter released by the President's lawyers publicly set out the Russian transactions reported on Mr Trump's tax returns for the first time.

  • Rogelio Becker