Donald Trump warns sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey against leaking to media

The White House initially cited a Justice Department memo criticising Mr Comey's handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as the impetus for Mr Trump's decision. Comey was tasked by his fellow intelligence directors to also pull tweet/?xid=homepage" target="_blank">Trump aside and inform him about a secret dossier suggesting that Russian Federation might have collected compromising information about him.

Trump has also strongly refuted the allegations that there was any collusion between him or his campaign with the Russians.

In his short letter to Comey, Trump made a specific point of mentioning that he "appreciated" how the FBI told him three times he was not personally under investigation over Russian Federation.

Republican chairman of the panel, Richard Burr, and the top Democrat, Mark Warner, praised Mr Comey, with Mr Warner saying he was offended at Mr Trump's remarks.

CNN cited an unnamed source as saying Mr Comey was "not anxious about any tapes" Mr Trump may have of their conversations. "The president should immediately provide any such recordings to Congress or admit, once again, to have made a deliberately misleading - and in this case threatening - statement".

Trump also suggested he would cancel press briefings, saying that "as a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!"

Mr. Spicer said Friday that any problems of accuracy were due to Mr. Trump's "busy and robust schedule". "It was a quick-moving process", she said.

It is, of course, very possible that Trump is just making a baseless threat, and there are indeed no tapes at all that Comey need worry about, should he decide to start leaking to the press.

Indonesia courts jails Jakarta's Christian governor for blasphemy against Islam
Before the blasphemy allegations, he had been widely hailed as a straight-talking politician with a strong anti-corruption stance. But a short distance away, the atmosphere among the governor's critics - a coalition of Islamic groups - was one of anger.

The White House has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation investigation and followed a meeting on Monday between Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Mr. Pence portrayed Mr. Rosenstein as initiating the action - he "came to work, sat down and made the recommendation" - and Mr. Trump as simply "accepting" it. A spokesman for Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said the details on the timing are still being worked out.

Critics have assailed Trump for dismissing the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief just as the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election, and possible Moscow ties to the Trump presidential campaign.

"No, I didn't", he said when asked if he gave that request.

When asked about Trump's claims that Comey pleaded for his job and told Trump that he is not under investigation, Clapper said those remarks sounded "out of character" for Comey. Trump tweeted about half an hour after his tweet targeting Comey.

A New York Times report this week also said that, during a one-on-one dinner in late January, Mr Trump had asked Mr Comey for a pledge of loyalty but it was not forthcoming.

Comey, they said, declined to make such a pledge but told Trump he would always give him "honesty".

The president's advisers said this week that Trump fired Comey in response to a recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Krishnamoorthi serves on the House's oversight committee as well.

-Byron Tau contributed to this article.

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