Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a stern warning Sunday about the state of the U.S. government after President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey last week, saying he thinks USA institutions are "under assault".
Trump said repeatedly in the clip that the press conferences "get the biggest ratings in daytime television", and he'd like to either stop them, or do things in a different way. The president asked to speak privately to the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and the others left the room, according to the Comey associates, who, like other officials, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal internal discussions.
On Friday, top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn requesting any tapes or communications between Trump and Comey. "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
The White House press office had a stenographer in meetings with journalists in order to have an independent transcript of the interviews, a common practice, the former official said.
The administration has interviewed at least eight candidates to replace Comey, just over half of the 14 being considered.
Rosenstein and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe were invited Friday to brief the Senate Judiciary Committee about the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. Seamless bipartisan cooperation is a fantasy on Capitol Hill in 2017, and some say the Comey hue and cry will only make it more hard to cooperate on big-ticket legislation.
"None of that was hidden", the former official said.More news: White House refuses to say if conversations are being taped
A new poll finds a strong majority favor an independent investigation into Russia's interference with the USA elections and possible ties to the Donald Trump campaign.
Trump added that he thought the Democrats were "hypocrites" for their outrage at Comey's dismissal, saying they themselves were upset with Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.
The White House had no immediate comment.
"It's now time to pick somebody that comes from within the ranks or is of such reputation that has no political background at all", Graham said.
It's a combination of qualities that may come back to haunt the president who fired him.
"I really don't know what to believe anymore", said John Kremer, 74, a Trump supporter from Birmingham, Alabama, who wants an independent investigation. On Jan. 26, Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told the White House counsel about the interview, and said Flynn could be subject to blackmail by the Russians because they knew he had lied about the content of the calls. In those statements, White House officials had denied that Flynn had discussed easing USA sanctions against Russia when he spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December.
Comey created similar memos - including some that are classified - about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. "We have to make sure that these tapes, if they exist, don't mysteriously disappear", Warner said.