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Trump on Asking for Comey's Loyalty: 'I Didn't'

17 May 2017

Two top Democrats are demanding that the White House turn over any recordings of conversations between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.

"To date, there has been no evidence of collusion", Burr said.

"This is our job", Burr said.

Burr said Tuesday he was "troubled" by the timing of Trump's firing of Comey. Instead, they said, the president fired Comey on the advice of senior members of the Justice Department, who anxious about his handling of a 2016 investigation into Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton.

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A briefing was nevertheless held Friday, and spokesman Sean Spicer pushed back against charges that the Republican billionaire president had threatened Comey. "And I can attest because of the high esteem and respect that people in the Federal Bureau of Investigation had and still have for Jim Comey".

"No, no, I didn't", Trump told Jeanine Pirro on Fox News, in an interview to be broadcast Saturday, when she asked whether he had sought Comey's pledge.

Spicer likewise demurred when asked if there are "recording devices in the Oval Office", and later said he was "not aware" of audio recordings of the January 27th dinner between Trump and Comey.

The White House initially cited a Justice Department memo criticizing Comey's handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as the impetus for Trump's decision.

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"There was no evidence that rose to that level, at that time, that found its way in to the intelligence community assessment, which we had pretty high confidence in", the former director of national intelligence said of collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russians, referring also to the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia tried to influence the presidential election in favor of Trump. "It just matters that the president is brushing up against these lines", said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas at Austin national security law professor. Capping a week in which Trump faced a slew of criticism for firing the man investigating his campaign's possible ties to Russia, Trump warned James Comey there could be retribution if he speaks to the press about their private conversations. But Rosenstein did not recommend that Comey be fired, noting that although Trump had the power to do so, "the decision should not be taken lightly".

Next, Trump said that "this thing with Russian Federation is a made-up story", nearly an explicit admission that Comey was sacked because Trump wanted an end to the FBI's investigation of Russia's interference in the U.

It's unclear what Trump meant when he tweeted about "tapes" on Friday morning. Shutting down news briefings, the association said in a statement, "would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the US system, no political figure is above being questioned".

"If there was an effort to use presidential power to thwart an investigation, that is another way of describing obstruction of justice", Gerhardt said.

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