Trump says he was always going to fire Federal Bureau of Investigation director

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump wrote, "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

His reaction comes after several days of press secretary Sean Spicer, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Vice President Mike Pence and Trump himself all offering different accounts of both the reasoning and process of Trump firing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director earlier this week.

He said in an NBC News interview on Thursday that Mr Comey told him once over dinner and twice by telephone that he is not under investigation.

In the interview, Trump trampled all over the White House narrative about why Comey was sacked, insisting that he would have fired Comey regardless of the recommendation he received from his Department of Justice and acknowledging that the FBI's investigation into potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials factored into his decision. According to this version, Mr Trump had in recent weeks been "strongly inclined to remove" Mr Comey.

The White House initially cited a Justice Department memo criticizing Comey's handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as the impetus for Trump's decision.

Mr Comey has not publicly discussed any conversations he had with Trump.

Mr Trump, in his interview, also gave further details of his account that Mr Comey had told him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation in the Russian Federation matter. She watched as Trump interviewed with Holt, unsure exactly what he'd say. Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning.

He also said Comey is "a showboat".

Several candidates are being considered to replace Mr Comey, a senior White House official said, including Mike Rogers, a former Republican representative; Trey Gowdy, a Republican representative and former federal prosecutor; Alice Fisher, assistant attorney general in the George W Bush administration; and Ray Kelly, former commissioner of the New York Police Department. "I was going to fire regardless of recommendation". McCabe told a Senate panel it was not "standard practice" to tell an individual whether they are or are not under investigation.

Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, was forced to change her planned answers for Thursday's press briefing just minutes before.

"In fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won", he said.

Mr Trump showed no concern that the request might be viewed as interference in an active Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

He also again promoted the idea that the potential collusion between his campaign and the Russian government was a "fabricated " story.

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