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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 0:07 AM | 13-05-2017

Trump warns ousted FBI chief not to leak to media

President Donald Trump warned ousted FBI Director James Comey on Friday (May 12, 2017) against talking to the media, suggesting there might be tapes of conversations between the two men that could contradict his account.

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Trump said in one of a string of Twitter messages.

The warning appeared to suggest that if Comey gave his version of events, the administration might produce tapes of conversations to counter that, although it was not clear if such tapes exist, Reuters reported.

His veiled threat was likely to add to the storm roiling Washington over Trump’s abrupt firing of Comey on Tuesday.

Critics have assailed Trump for firing the FBI chief at a time when the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump presidential campaign.

Trump said in his brief statement about firing Comey on Tuesday that the FBI chief had told him three times that he was not under investigation in the Russia probe. In an interview on Thursday with NBC News, the president said Comey gave him this assurance during a dinner and in two phone conversations.

Comey has not publicly discussed any conversations he has had with Trump.

The man who took over as acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, sidestepped a question during a Senate hearing on Thursday on whether he ever heard Comey tell Trump that the president was not the subject of investigation.

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign of interference in the election, US intelligence agencies concluded in January, aimed at tilting the vote in Trump’s favor. Moscow has denied interference in the election, and the Trump administration denies allegations of collusion with Russia.

 

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