Trump's attempt to intimidate Comey could come back to haunt him

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.

In all, Mr. Trump said Mr. Comey told him three times that he wasn't under investigation, offering more details on the earlier statement in his letter firing the director that said Mr. Comey had informed him three times that he wasn't being probed.

When the NBC anchor noted the White House's written claim about the recommendations from the Justice Department, Trump couldn't have been clearer about his intentions.

Mr. President, if there are "tapes" relevant to the Comey firing, it's because you made them and they should be provided to Congress.

McCabe said "that is not accurate".

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, McCabe repeatedly â and at times bluntly â rejected some of the claims the White House has used to explain the firing and to describe the investigation. Each has worked in high-profile positions in the Justice Department.

Interestingly, although Rosenstein's memo strongly implied that Comey should be removed, it never explicitly recommended it. "And that's what we want for the FBI", Trump said. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said that while he couldn't be certain the request triggered Comey's dismissal, he said he believed the FBI "was breathing down the neck of the Trump campaign and their operatives and this was an effort to slow down the investigation".

White House officials and others insisted on anonymity in order to disclose private conversations and internal deliberations.

The senators said their meeting with Rosenstein was about setting up a "process for deconfliction" - coordinating their investigation with the FBI's. Comey found the allegations confounding, according to his associate, and wondered what to make of what he described as odd thoughts coming from his new boss. But Trump said Thursday that Rosenstein's document wasn't what weighted the scale against Comey. That was Rod Rosenstein, the deputy AG, who was confirmed by the Senate just two weeks ago on a 94-6 vote.

Though some of the images suggested Trump was clearly aware he was being photographed, the White House reportedly tried to blame the Russians for the photos, saying it did not anticipate the photos would be posted online. But very well known, highly respected, really talented people.

Trump's visible anger and erratic tweets prompted a reporter to ask Spicer on Friday if the president was "out of control".

McCabe did not definitively resolve a dispute over whether Comey asked Rosenstein for more resources for the Russian Federation investigation last week, though he asserted that the bureau had "resourced that investigation adequately".

Trump is mulling expanding the communications team and has eyed hiring producers from Fox News, according to one White House official. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate leader and a former state attorney general. "And that's what we want for the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

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