Clapper: US govt 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

President Donald Trump threatened to shut down daily press briefings Friday as he sought to defend his White House from criticism of its shifting explanations and misstatements about the firing of FBI Director James Comey. The veiled threat added to the storm over Trump's abrupt firing of Comey on Tuesday.Critics have assailed Trump for dismissing the FBI chief at a time when the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump presidential campaign.The Federal Bureau of Investigation probe and parallel congressional investigations have cast a cloud over Trump's presidency since he took office on January 20, threatening to overwhelm his policy priorities. Comey found the allegations confounding, according to his associate, and wondered what to make of what he described as unusual thoughts coming from his new boss.

Comey has not confirmed Trump's account. "Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic, because they're people that can't get the job done".

According to a poll conducted by NBC News / Survey Monkey, nearly 50 percent of Americans are confident that Trump fired Comey because of his participation in the probe into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 United States presidential polls. Trump said in an interview with NBC that the Russian Federation investigation factored into his decision to fire Comey.

McCabe also pointed out the remarkable nature of Trump's version of his conversations with Comey.

The White House on Tuesday said Mr. Comey was sacked over his handling of the federal investigation involving Mr. Trump's former rival, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Calling Trump's remarks about possible taped conversations "outrageous", Sen.

Disputing the basis of the Russian Federation investigation, Spicer said, "There's no collusion that occurred".

An individual familiar with Comey's thinking said Comey is not anxious about the possible existence of any tapes from his meeting with Mr. Trump at the White House.

Jay Z and Beyonce now a 'billionaire couple'
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That did not stop Sanders from continuing to push the narrative that "rank and file" Federal Bureau of Investigation employees had lost confidence in Comey, leading to an extremely contentious White House briefing on Thursday, where reporters grilled Sanders for evidence supporting the claim, which she struggled to provide.

"Everybody's convinced: They say there is no collusion", Trump said.

Interviews with additional individuals are expected Sunday if they can be arranged, a senior White House official said.

"It's always the president's decision", Spicer said.

"I think the process is going to go quickly", Trump said.

That's according to two White House officials briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. Once Comey staked out a position in July, he had no choice on the near-eve of the election but to reopen the investigation when new evidence materialized.

It was unclear whether word of the Comey request, said to have been put to Rosenstein, ever made its way to Trump. He said there has been no interference so far.

Comey declined an invitation to testify at a closed Senate committee hearing Tuesday and it's not clear when he'll speak publicly.

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