White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer refused to answer queries about whether the President recorded a conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey, the media reported.
“The President has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said on Friday multiple times in his first briefing since Comey’s firing, refusing to say any more beyond characterising the tweet as “not a threat”.
Comey was in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into Russian election meddling until he was abruptly fired on Tuesday, reports CBS News.
The queries on the recordings followed Trump’s tweet that said Comey had “better hope that there are no ‘tapes'” of conversations between the two of them.
“The bottom line is, is that the director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the president,” Spicer added.
The White House has claimed Trump fired Comey because he lost the confidence of rank-and-file FBI employees and because of a Tuesday recommendation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Comey over his handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email probe.
But Trump himself on Thursday contradicted initial statements, claiming he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation.
He added in an interview with NBC News on Thursday that when he decided to fire Comey, he thought of the “made-up” story about his connections to Russia.
Trump suggested on Friday morning over Twitter that maybe “it would be best to cancel” the White House press briefings, after Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave an account of the decision to fire Comey that was in direct conflict with what Trump said later, CBS News reported.
In this regard, Spicer defended the White House press team and echoed the President’s tweet.
“He keeps a very robust schedule,” Spicer said, adding, “I think sometimes we don’t have an opportunity to get into see him to get his full thinking.”
Still, Spicer continued to refuse to acknowledge that there were multiple and sometimes contradictory rationales for Comey’s firing that came from the White House.