Trump warns ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation chief against talking to media, threatens 'tapes'

White House press secretary Sean Spicer wears an easter bunny tie as he talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House Monday

Andrew Harnik AP

President Donald Trump aired some of his grievances with reporters after what was arguably one of the most tumultuous weeks in Washington.

It also escalated a potentially damaging standoff between a fuming, undisciplined president and the unorthodox lawman he dismissed three days earlier. In Congressional Testimony, Comey disclosed the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. But Trump once had a very different view about the importance of an independence Justice Department.

Burr also said his committee plans to ramp up its investigation, having already interviewed some 30 people.

Although Senator Burr was taking a break from Washington D.C. physically, he spoke to media about the latest on Capitol Hill, including the recent firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

"Well that I can't talk about. The broader point I think was accurate", the official said.

Even Trump's Friday morning tweetstorm warning Comey that he had better hope there are no "tapes" of their private conversations and threatening to cancel White House media briefings failed to dent his support among several GOP leaders.

Still, it will only heighten Mr Trump's strained relations with intelligence workers and former officials, who view Russian Federation as an adversary. But sources close to him have cast doubt on the president's account, noting it would be extraordinary for an FBI director to discuss an open investigation.

When asked if Trump requested loyalty from Comey during a dinner, Spicer said that did not happen and the president wanted loyalty to the country and rule of the law.

"He's doing a good job, but he gets beat up", Trump said.

Trump sparked a political firestorm when he abruptly fired Comey last week.

Trump was widely known to record some phone conversations at his office in Trump Tower during his business career, sometimes remarking to aides after a call as to whether or not he had taped it.

But Trump's critics said the hiccups in his media operation were his own fault, and questioned his willingness to impugn the credibility of his own team members, who the president said could not "stand at podium with ideal accuracy".

When it comes to recording conversations, some states are "one-party consent" states, meaning that it is legal to record a conversation as long as one person involved has consented to it. He declined an invitation to appear at a closed meeting of the Senate intelligence committee next week.

The face-to-face meeting between the president and the director raised other concerns.

Former DNI Clapper, meanwhile, was live on television under his own name when he contradicted Trump's claim that Comey had asked Trump to have dinner in January. Luttig clashed with the Bush White House on a prominent terror case, rebuking the administration for its actions in the case involving "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla.

Sessions has faced questions over whether his involvement in Comey's firing violates his pledge to recuse himself from investigations into Russian interference in the election. 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". Asked to clarify whether there were any tapes as Trump suggested, Spicer said he had nothing further to add to the president's tweets.

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