Trump warns ousted Federal Bureau of Investigation chief not to leak to media, threatens 'tapes'

The Times' report of the Trump-Comey dinner came on the same day Trump admitted to calling Comey and asking him if he's under investigation - a major departure from the story the White House had previously been telling about the chain of events that culminated in Comey's firing.

Trump fired Comey on May 9, and later in an NBC News interview called him "a showboat" and a "grandstander" and stating that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in "turmoil".

President Trump during a new interview refused to discuss his tweeted warning to former FBI Director James Comey.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also said on Friday the conversation between Trump and Comey did not happen.

The president faces accusations from Democrats that he fired Mr Comey to hinder the FBI investigation into USA intelligence agency allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Mr Trump. Comey instead told Trump he could count on his honesty, the Times said.

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The sentence is harsher than prosecutors had called for as they had reportedly recommended two years of probation, AP reports . About 85 percent of its population are Muslim , but the country officially respects six religions.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, tweeted "Mr. President, if there are "tapes" relevant to the Comey firing, it's because you made them and they should be provided to Congress".

"Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???" he added.

"I've talked to the president", he said. Shortly after Trump's "tapes" tweet went out, former Obama White House ethics lawyer Norm Eisen questioned whether Trump was committing the crime of witness intimidation.

Apparently stung by media scrutiny over shifting accounts of how and why Comey was sacked, Trump suggested he may call off daily media briefings at the White House. And Trump's public statements in an interview on Thursday indicated he had several reasons for firing Comey.

NBC News tweeted that a "source close to Comey" said, "He hopes there are tapes".

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Rosenstein detailed Comey's actions on this in a memo that the administration circulated on Tuesday, along with a memo from Sessions and Trump's own brief statement that he was dismissing Comey.

Trump told NBC News that Comey is "a showboat, he's a grandstander. Risky because he may be obstructing justice, in terms of the investigation that really goes to the heart of our democracy -the accountability of the President, and the people around him, to the rule of law - protecting our democracy from an invasion - a cyber-invasion by the Russians", he said.

He reiterated that the White House press team works hard to update the American people about the president's actions to keep the nation safe and improve the economy, but that he thinks reporters are more interested in "gotcha journalism". It isn't clear whether Trump believes there actually are tapes. The New York Times said Comey has told associates he declined to make a pledge of loyalty to Trump when the president requested it as the pair had dinner at the White House just seven days after his inauguration. "I have the highest respect for his consideration abilities and his integrity", McCabe said.

According to United States media reports, Comey told lawmakers within the past few days he had asked the justice department to make additional resources available - mainly more staffing - for the Russian Federation probe.

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