Trump Threatens Comey With Possibility of Secret “Tapes”

He also said he may end daily press briefings.

Shcherbak Alexander/TASS/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump fired a warning shot at former FBI Director James Comey on Friday, with a tweet that appeared to insinuate that he might possess recordings of their past conversations.

The implicit threat comes as the latest development in the ongoing uproar sparked by Trump’s decision to unceremoniously fire Comey on Tuesday. The potential existence of any recordings comes with a certain degree of irony, in light of Trump’s continued baseless claim that Barack Obama illegally wiretapped him and his associates.

Since Comey’s shocking dismissal, the White House’s justifications for his dismissal have unraveled: Administration officials initially claimed the president was operating under the recommendation of the Justice Department and that he had lost confidence in Comey due to his handling of the Clinton email investigation. But in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired Thursday night, Trump contradicted the narrative that his own administration—including the vice president himself—had been peddling to the press. He told Holt that he planned to fire the FBI director “regardless of recommendation” and suggested that the bureau’s ongoing Russia probe was the cause of Comey’s ouster. “I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a madeup story,” Trump said. He also admitted to repeatedly asking Comey if he was under federal investigation for possible connections to Russia. The New York Times reported on Friday that on one of these occasions, Trump summoned Comey to dinner and demanded his loyalty.

During his Friday morning tweetstorm, Trump also suggested he may put an end to daily press briefings.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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