Trump blasts Comey, acting FBI chief contradicts president

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"So you don't need a special prosecutor", Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program.

Trump was scheduled to leave Friday for his first overseas trip as president.

The series of tweets come as the White House scrambles to deny that it intentionally misled Americans over the series of events that led to Comey's termination on Tuesday.

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe also pledged that he would inform the panel of any effort by the White House or others to interfere with the agency's probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But critics will question whether Trump is perhaps implying that he recorded his conversations with Comey.

In the news briefing Friday afternoon, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he had spoken to Mr. Trump and the president had nothing further to add on the tapes tweet.

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.

That admission could expose the president to allegations of interfering with ongoing investigations in possible collusion between his aides and the Russian government during the 2016 election.

That explains why Trump demanded Comey's loyalty.

In terms of the context, the White House's contradictions reflect a degree of internal chaos.

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"The FBI is one of our Nation's most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement", President Trump said in a statement.

They can make recommendations, but the president will ultimately make the hiring decision.

In doing so, though, Trump sought to criticize Comey after suddenly firing him earlier this week.

Trump confirmed that asked Comey on three separate occasions whether or not he was under investigation. "He's risky because he may be obstructing justice in terms of the investigation. and secondly his credibility has been destroyed".

Republican Committee Chairman Richard Burr asked McCabe whether he ever heard Comey tell Trump the president was not the subject of investigation.

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!"

He said in an NBC News interview on Thursday that Mr Comey told him once over dinner and twice by telephone that he is not under investigation.

"I had a dinner with him, he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on", Trump said.

"I think in many ways our institutions are under assault externally, and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system".