Trump warns sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation chief over media leaks

James B. Comey on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 20

Less than a week after Trump fired Comey, the administration has interviewed at least eight candidates to be Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and Trump has said a decision could come before he leaves Friday on his first overseas trip as president. Fearful that his own team would leak the decision, Trump kept key staff in the dark as he pondered the dramatic move.

Trump added that it's "possible" he would hire a new director before he departs for his first foreign trip on Friday.

The White House, however, has provided no deadline for filling in Comey's place.

Comey, who was sacked by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, was invited to speak before the committee in a closed session. CNN said Comey is "not anxious about any tapes" Trump may have, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter. 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.

Furious with the news coverage of the White House's shifting explanations on Comey's sacking, Trump suggested the media was wrong to expect his spokespeople to be 100 percent accurate.

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.

"I would note that NY is a one-party consent state, and President Trump has always abided by the law", said Sam Nunberg, a former campaign aide.

McCabe contradicted Trump this week, telling lawmakers that Comey enjoyed widespread support among the FBI's rank and file, and that the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the election was a "highly significant investigation". Trump said Comey wanted to have the dinner because he wanted to stay on in the job.


"Even that is possible", Trump told reporters when asked whether he could announce his nominee by Friday, when he is scheduled to leave for the Mideast and Europe. McCabe became acting director after Comey was sacked, but has shown a repeated willingness to break from White House explanations of the ouster and its characterizations of the Russian Federation investigation.

The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, says the idea of three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances is "eroding" under Trump.

"I think the process is going to move quickly because nearly all of them (candidates) are well-known", Trump said.

"These are outstanding people that are very well known". "He's a little bit like a quarterback that gets ahead of his offensive line". Trump told Fox News in an interview he did not think an independent probe was necessary. "We need to get the President outside the beltway", someone close to the White House explained to CNN. She would be the FBI's first female director, if chosen by Trump and subsequently confirmed by the Senate.

But the blowback from Comey's firing left the White House reeling once again.

If the president himself does not expect his surrogates to be able to accurately reflect that, the former aides asked, how can anyone outside the West Wing?

Spicer, who kept his answers short during Friday's briefing and largely dodged specific questions about Trump's meeting with Comey, said he was not aware that any recording of the Trump-Comey meeting exists. But Kelly also came under fire for his use of aggressive police tactics, including a program that spied on Muslims and a dramatic spike in the use of stop-and-frisk, which disproportionately affected non-white New Yorkers.

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