White House refuses to say if conversations are being taped

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On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was repeatedly and directly asked if President Trump is recording conversations in the Oval Office.

Speaking at the Common Good forum in New York City, Gillibrand argued that Trump has "tried to undermine the basic institutions of our democracy", by firing former FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, saying Trump was further politicizing the department.

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!" wrote Trump, referring to aides' claims that he took action on Comey based on the recommendation of Department of Justice officials. If Trump would have let Comey go soon after his inauguration, McQuade says, it would have been a different situation. Maybe, Trump said, he will just cancel briefings with the media altogether.

President Trump praised his administration Friday for "rapidly" fixing problems voters want fixed and pledged to travel widely before the 2018 elections to extend Republican advantages in the House and Senate.

Several questions later, Time White House Correspondent Zeke Miller asks Spicer a third time about Comey-this time, a yes-or-no question, "Is the President of the United States now recording conversations taking place in the Oval Office?"

In 1973, President Richard Nixon sacked Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor who was seeking access to tapes of presidential conversations that ultimately led to Mr Nixon's resignation.

"The president has nothing further to add on that", Spicer said numerous times in answer to rapid-fire questions.

Trump was referring to past statements by Clapper in which the former DNI said he had not seen evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. The FBI has been investigating alleged Russian meddling in the USA election and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

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The president said he never pressured Comey into dropping the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe, and added that there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians". "I hope you won't either". "I'm not under investigation".

The other two times Trump said he asked Comey whether he was under investigation were in telephone conversations.

Mr Trump also said this week that he alone was responsible for the decision to sack Mr Comey, calling him a "showboat" and "grandstander".

"But I think that there are times when you, more than not, read a story where someone's trying to - trying to pull apart one word, one sentence and say, 'Aha!' and make it a gotcha thing". Trump said he was firing Comey for his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails a year ago.

Trump told NBC's Lester Holt Thursday that Comey provided him during the dinner with an assurance that the president was not under investigation.

The FBI typically does not confirm their existence. CNN said Comey is "not anxious about any tapes" Trump may have, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.

"The security of our country and safety of the American people are at risk", Trump said.

That explains why he then asked the Justice Department to come up with a rationale for sacking him, not caring that his embrace of Comey's questionable handling of the Clinton email probe as the pretext for firing him would be met with instant suspicion.

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