Once Comey uttered those words, President Donald Trump could not fire him - absent proof of criminal conduct or unethical behavior - without creating the appearance of impropriety or the appearance of undermining the investigation. His aides conveyed a somewhat scattershot message, and Trump was reportedly angry.
"Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???" he added. "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 Republican president told NBC. We don't have them.
"I think we ought to get to the bottom line here: President Trump is unsafe", Durbin told MSNBC, the cable news channel. And on Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer refused to deny that Trump may have recorded his conversation with Comey.
"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with ideal accuracy!" "No, he just gets beat up by these people and again you know they don't show the 90 questions that they asked and answered properly". "That is a flaw at the top". Federal prosecutors in Virginia have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of the dismissed national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who had a troubling discussion with FBI agents in the first days of the Trump administration. "Loyalty to the country, loyalty to the United States is important". Were you aware it would be used to justify the firing of Comey?
The firing has prompted Democrats to amplify their calls for an independent investigation of the Russian Federation case. As senior politics editor Paige Lavender at HuffPost points out, if Comey ever has to testify in the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's connections to Russian Federation, the president's latest tweets could be seen as "witness intimidation".
They've requested the White House turn over any recordings to Congress.
In an earlier tweet, the president returned to one of his favorite subjects - the media. He simply stated a fact.
Spicer said the Justice Department would soon begin to interview replacements for Comey.
The FBI probe and parallel congressional investigations have hung over Trump's presidency since he took office in January and threaten to overwhelm his policy priorities. They believe that the rule of law is the true rudder for the ship of state; the president can not reverse its course with a wave of his hand.
Trump defended his surrogates in the interview with Fox News, calling Spicer a "wonderful human being" and deputy spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders a "lovely young woman".
Several Twitter replies dismissed the existence of such recordings, characterizing them as empty threats by a president anxious about what Comey himself might have to say about the meeting. But it is not only at the White House that Trump has communications problems.
"We don't have press conferences", he said.
The president also again protested news coverage of his White House, saying in another tweet: "The Fake Media is working overtime today!"