Trump Threatens Former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter

Trump Threatens Former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter

(CNN)President Donald Trump issued a thinly veiled threat Friday to fired FBI Director James Comey, an extraordinary development in the ongoing feud between the President and the agencies investigating alleged ties between his campaign and Russia.

The tweet seemed to suggest there are possibly recorded conversations between Trump and Comey that could be leaked to counter the former FBI director if necessary: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press."

When he fired Comey earlier this week, Trump garnered comparisons to President Richard Nixon and his infamous decision to remove the special prosecutor investigating Watergate crimes in 1973. The Watergate scandal accelerated drastically when it was revealed Nixon taped conversations in the White House. Trump didn't provide further details Friday on whether he was taping conversations.

Soon after tweeting the threat to Comey, Trump invoked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who testified before the Senate earlier this week that he was not aware of any evidence demonstrating collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?" Trump tweeted.

Clapper, however, qualified his remarks by saying he had been unaware of an FBI investigation into the matter until Comey announced it to the public at a House hearing in March. And it's unclear how much Clapper would know about developments in the investigation after he left office earlier this year.

It's not unheard of for presidents to record conversations, using different systems to do so, with and without participants' knowledge. Six presidents secretly recorded meetings and telephone conversations between 1940 and 1973, according to historian and CNN contributor Julian Zelizer.

 

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/12/politics/donald-trump-james-comey-threat/

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