MIA: White House officials willing to publicly defend and explain Comey's firing

Trump-WHITE-HOUSE-LAWN

"This morning, the President tweeted a thinly veiled threat to Mr. Comey, which could be construed as threatening a witness in this investigation, which is another violation of federal law".

In a letter terminating his employment, Trump wrote that Comey had reassured him on three separate occasions, including once over dinner, that he was not under investigation. According to a close associate of Mr. Comey, he is willing to testify, but wants it to be in public. He leans heavily on daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Hope Hicks, his trusted campaign spokeswoman and Keith Schiller, his longtime bodyguard.

CNN said Comey is "not anxious about any tapes" Trump may have, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter. "Then he gets to the end and he said she's free as a bird", Trump said. Still, Priebus was among the tight circle of staffers Trump consulted about Comey's firing.

Trump spent most of the week out of sight, a marked change from a typically jam-packed schedule that often includes multiple on-camera events per day. Trump said he would not talk about the existence of any tapes.

While Democrats have called for an independent special counsel to investigate the Russian Federation matter, most Republicans have said that is not necessary given the FBI probe and investigations in both the House and Senate.

But even those who had been critical of Comey expressed suspicion over the timing of Comey's firing.

Ducks resting up for aggressive Preds down 2-1 in West
Wilson and Arvidsson picked up the assists. "Obviously, we're disappointed", Forsberg said. "We know what we can do in the room". Defensively, the Anaheim Ducks are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 84.7 percent of their opponents power plays.

Sources told ABC News that Trump posed the question to Comey a few times during a dinner in January and Comey would not promise such a thing to the new president, only that he would be honest. That has led to speculation that Trump is considering replacing him.

"I actually said today, let's not ever do any more press briefings", Trump told Fox News.

Several candidates were interviewed to see who will take over the reins. The president also threatened to cancel the century-old policy of daily White House press briefings if criticism of their accuracy continues.

Trump's latest tweet alluding to the possibility of recordings further added to the heightened drama of the past two days as the White House tries to do damage control on the messaging surrounding Comey's firing.

Democrats cast the decision to fire Comey as an effort to obstruct the FBI's probe, a charge the White House has denied.

"President Trump should release the tapes he referred to and come clean on the real reasons why Director Comey was abruptly fired in the midst of a critical investigation", said Congressman Joe Crowley, House Democratic Caucus chairman. In the NBC interview on Thursday, Trump said he would have fired Comey regardless of any such recommendations.

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