Monday, 22 October, 2018

President Trump threatens to cancel briefings; Spicer back at podium

Protest outside Federal Building over the Protest outside Federal Building over the firing of FBI Director James Comey. AFP
Frank Williams | 17 May, 2017, 20:16

President Donald Trump took to twitter Friday morning to issue a dire warning to former FBI Director James Comey about trying to influence media coverage of his firing. While presidents have the authority to fire their FBI directors for any reason, Mr Comey is only the second FBI Director ever to be dismissed. They also commented only on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Trump "is emulating some of the worst aspects of Richard Nixon and for those of us watching from the outside, we have to ask why", said Naftali. "I'm only talking as a candidate, I'm not saying as president where I want to do what is right for the country necessarily, I'm talking purely as a candidate for me to get votes", Trump said.

Meanwhile, questions continue to swirl around Trump's dismissal of Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Trump campaign aides' contacts with Russian Federation and whether there was any collusion in the alleged meddling of the 2016 USA election by Moscow.

"If there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over", Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday. But Spicer and his team have kept up regular briefings.

Mr Comey reportedly said he hopes there are tapes of his various conversations with Mr Trump.

And at his NY office during the campaign, workers believed Trump had a system set up to record phone calls. Federal law and the law in NY state do not require both parties on a call to be aware that it was being recorded. "Another president, I won't use names, but another president doesn't doing what I'm doing". In Florida, where the president frequently spends weekends, both parties must consent to recording.

Comey's temporary replacement, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, also contradicted statements from administration officials on Thursday, strongly disputing the White House story line that Comey's firing came in part because he had lost the confidence of the FBI's rank-and-file. That's at odds with with the account given by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who told reporters Trump fired Comey based on the report written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Medicaid expansion could survive under Senate's version of ACA repeal bill
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of ME have proposed allowing states to keep the Affordable Care Act if they want it. And what, truly, is the difference between being unable to afford coverage and being denied coverage? That's just not true.

Former National Intelligence director James Clapper said Friday that Comey was uneasy about attending the dinner due to the "appearance of compromising the independence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation which is a hallowed tenet in our system".

But he also said: "In fact when I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won".

Trump says in an interview with NBC News that he had planned to fire Comey all along, regardless of the recommendations of top Justice Department officials.

Senate Democrat Dick Durbin said Ryan's Senate health care timeline was "wishful thinking".

That and similar reports apparently led to Trump's tweet.

Former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers was endorsed by the FBI Agents Association, which said his diverse background makes him the best choice for the job.

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