Monday, 20 November, 2017

Trump Suggests He Could Handle Press Briefings Instead Of Sean Spicer

Getty Images Trump Suggests He Could Handle Press Briefings Instead Of Sean Spicer
Francis Olson | 15 May, 2017, 00:05

"President Donald Trump is considering making changes to his communications team, which he blames for failing to contain the controversy surrounding his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, according to multiple administration officials", the journal reported.

On Friday morning, as President Trump faced withering scrutiny for his decision to fire the FBI director while his campaign is under FBI investigation, Trump took to Twitter to reiterate the talking point he deploys whenever the topic of his campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation comes up.

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" he wrote on Twitter. Late Thursday, The New York Times cited two unnamed Comey associates who recounted his version of a January dinner with the president in which Trump asked for a pledge of loyalty.

Trump also hit back on Friday at media reports questioning the credibility of White House accounts of why Comey was sacked, which have changed over the course of the week, and threatened an end to regular White House press briefings.

Trump had claimed that Comey told him three times that he wasn't "under investigation".

"If so", he added, "they are evidence related to a criminal investigation and therefore they can be subpoenaed, either by Congress, or by a prosecutor, or special prosecutor if one is appointed, and Trump has to turn them over, as the Supreme Court ruled way back in 1974". She implied that while the campaign may be under investigation, Trump the person isn't.

President Donald Trump on Friday floated an alternative to his press secretary's traditional daily press briefings: Himself. Comey's allies also quickly made clear they would defend him against attacks from Trump, including disputing the president's assertion that Comey told Trump he was not personally under investigation. The firing drew a wave of criticism in large part because the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating whether election meddling by Russian Federation involved people in Trump's presidential campaign.

Korea challenges South's new leader
Delegations from the United States, South Korea and North Korea are in Beijing for a conference on a plan for a new Silk Road. Regardless, the apparent success of the launch and the steady pace of firings will only heighten tensions in the region.

Later, the president and his advisers said Mr Trump had planned to fire Mr Comey since taking office.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plan to interview four candidates on Saturday for a nominee that Trump will send to the Senate.

The White House has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation probe.

Further reporting suggests that the encounter was even more sinister, with Trump insisting that Comey pledge "loyalty" to him in order to retain his job. Trump's tweet on the China deal followed the administration's Thursday-evening announcement saying it had agreed with Beijing on improving the China-market access of US beef producers, electronic-payments providers and natural-gas exporters, among others. The source cast doubt on the existence of Trump's phantom blackmail recordings: "If there is a tape, there's nothing [Comey] is anxious about".

Journalists have described a "crisis of credibility" at the White House, with lies from the briefing room podium diminishing its stature. Trump's tweet suggested, of course, that the president was privately recording his conversations.

Spicer responded by stressing the long hours the White House staff works, and how the media seems to be out to catch mistakes or discrepancies in the briefings.

Reps. John Conyers and Elijah Cummings also said 'Congress should immediately seek the testimony of Director Comey'.

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