In a wide-ranging Twitter rant on Friday morning, President Donald Trump suggested canceling all future press briefings and hinted at the existence of secret “‘tapes'” of his conversations with recently-ousted FBI Director James Comey.
He went on to warn Comey against leaks to the media.
“Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election,” he tweeted before targeting the “fake media” again.
Trump also said “it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy,” considering how hectic the White House is.
“Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future ‘press briefings’ and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???” Trump then wrote — the latest of his threats against the media. Although it may be a rhetorical point, the statement also reflects his tendencies to buck long-standing White House and presidential tradition.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is sure to be grilled by the press about the president’s comments when he takes the podium at a press briefing on Friday after being absent this week due to Navy Reserve duty. Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders filled in during the tumultuous week.
Trump then warned Comey, who he called a “showboat” and “grandstander” on Thursday in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, not to leak “‘tapes'” of their private conversations to the press.
He also revealed during the “NBC Nightly News” interview that Comey was fired because the “FBI has been in turmoil,” which appeared to contradict the White House’s statements about his decision to ax the FBI director. The White House said Trump’s actions were motivated by a memo that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sent saying that Comey had lost credibility following his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“I was going to fire regardless of (their) recommendation,” Trump told Holt.
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” the president tweeted on Thursday.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump may be committing a crime, “obstructing justice” by tweeting about an ongoing investigation.