Did Donald Trump fire James Comey because Comey was heading an investigation into him? That’s the narrative from the tin-foil hat wearing segment of Trump’s critics, which, even if true, doesn’t explain why they’re upset over his firing. Weren’t these same liberals calling for Comey’s firing when he was investigating Hillary Clinton, alleging that Comey was helping the Trump campaign? If he supposedly did, only to let Hillary off the hook, shouldn’t these liberals be concerned that Comey would let Trump off the hook too (assuming that the conspiracies about his connections to Russia were true)?
In Trump’s letter firing Comey, he said “while I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the decision of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.” As for the evidence that Comey told Trump he wasn’t under investigation on three separate occasions, Trump is appearing to indicate that he was recordings of Comey saying as much.
According to the Daily Mail, Donald Trump lobbed a veiled threat at the former FBI director on Friday, hinting that some of their conversations before his firing may have been recorded.
‘James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!’ the president tweeted. It’s unclear whether Trump was warning that the White House is recording his calls, or if he believes the FBI may have been recording Comey’s. Trump said Thursday during an interview with NBC News that the two men have spoken at least three times since Inauguration Day.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
And on those occasions, he insisted, Comey assured him that he was not personally the subject of any federal investigations.
‘He said it once at dinner and then he said it twice during phone calls,’ Trump said. He described a matter-of-fact exchange over dinner in which he asked an unusual question and got an unconventional response.
‘I said, “If it’s possible would you let me know, am I under investigation?” Trump recalled.
‘He said, “You are not under investigation”.’
It is rare for a federal law enforcement official to tell anyone, including the President of the United States, whether they are being investigated.
Even if Comey doesn’t speak to reporters about the circumstances behind his dismissal on Tuesday, he may have a high-profile venue to tell his side of the story.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked him to testify next week.
Regardless of whether or not the FBI actually is investigating Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, they haven’t found any connections between his associates and Russia in the 2016 campaign. The odds that Trump alone would be the sole person in his campaign directly communicating with Russian conspirators seems unlikely in that light.