Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Trump threatens to cancel press briefings, unhappy with Comey coverage

Trump threatens to cancel press briefings, unhappy with Comey coverage

The White House has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation probe, but in the interview with NBC News on Thursday, Trump said he knew he ran the risk that by firing Comey he would "confuse people" and "lengthen out the investigation" into ties to Russian Federation.

In a flood of angry tweets Friday morning, President Trump threatened to cancel press briefings as he continues to grapple with the fallout from his abrupt firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation directory James Comey and the conflicting stories he and his aides have told about it.

Trump maintains Comey told him that he was not under investigation, but McCabe suggested under questioning that was highly improbable.

He also emphasized, in light of criticism of the White House's continually changing narrative regarding former FBI Director James Comey's ouster, that he could simply severely limit press conferences and do them all himself.

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"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 said.

Then, The New York Times and NBC reported that Comey recently asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for additional funding for the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation. "You have a level of hostility that's incredible and it's very unfair", he told the network in an interview to air in full today.

The White House schedule for Friday lists a 1:30 p.m. ET briefing to be conducted by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The shifting accounts of the decision to fire Comey, whom Trump derided as a "showboat" and "grandstander", added to a mounting sense of uncertainty and chaos in the West Wing, as aides scrambled to get their stories straight and appease an angry president.

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Comey was directing investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, along with possible meddling by Moscow in the 2016 US presidential election. The FBI is a powerful machine, with thousands of agents, and the ones I know, both active-duty and retired, think Trump's derision of the investigation was an insult to the institution. The Trump administration offered conflicting reasons for the dismissal, and on Thursday, Trump contradicted the White House's original announcement that Trump chose to fire Comey this week on recommendations from his attorney general and deputy attorney general.

"America First does not mean America alone", McMaster said, referring to Trump's Inauguration Day promise to priotize America's interests.

The report said Comey refused to make the pledge, but instead told Trump that he would "always be honest with him". Multiple officials, including Pence, said the president was acting at the behest of Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "The FBI director has no credibility", said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., this past January.

Trump's recent comments have also prompted fresh accusations of interference with the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. On Thursday Trump said he would have fired Comey regardless of any such recommendations.

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