Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told MSNBC'S Andrea Mitchell on Friday that there could be evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign - a statement that comes on the heels of an apparent public threat Trump made this morning to fired FBI Director James Comey, tweeting that Comey had better hope their conversations have not been taped.
He insisted anew that Comey had told him directly three separate times that he personally was not under investigation.
Trump, speaking to NBC News, gave his first in-depth remarks since the stunning ousting of Comey on Tuesday evening.
McCabe's revelation comes just two days after President Trump fired Comey for reasons that are continuously changing, though the rank and file losing "confidence in the director" was among the reasons given. On Thursday, Mr. Rosenstein pressed the White House to correct what he felt was an inaccurate depiction of the events surrounding the firing, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
Spicer called the coverage of changing stories behind Comey's dismissal miss the point.
Several congressional panels are also investigating Russia's role in the election. He promised senators he would tolerate no interference from the White House and would not provide the administration with updates on its progress. "There's nothing further to add on that", he said.
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'".
The Senate will grill him in a Thursday hearing. Republican leaders brushed off the idea as unnecessary.
Spicer declined multiple questions about Mr. Trump's tweet saying Comey had "better hope that there are no tapes" of his dinner with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director. Although Trump thought Comey went too easy on Clinton, Rosenstein's memo made the case that Comey's public declarations about the Clinton investigation were unfair to her.
Sanders cited Comey's July news conference which he held without notifying his superiors at the Justice Department. President Donald Trump fired Comey on Tuesday, ousting the nation's top law enforcement official in the midst of an investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties to Russia's election meddling.
Donald Trump says he's not under investigation.
But Rosenstein's own role in Comey's firing became increasingly murky Wednesday. "It's standard practice", the official said. Former Republican congressman Mike Rogers is being considered as a candidate to replace Comey, a senior White House official said.
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.
He says he initiated one phone call, and Comey initiated the other.
May 9, 5:48 pm: A statement attributed to press secretary Sean Spicer is sent to the White House press list.
White House and other USA officials insisted on anonymity to disclose private conversations. "I've since had the conversation with him".
Superville reported from Lynchburg, Virginia.
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