On Twitter early Friday, President Trump suggested that he might end White House press briefings and threatened fired FBI Director James Comey with an allusion to “tapes” of their conversations.
Trump’s musing about press briefings comes in the wake of a Thursday interview in which he directly contradicted the White House’s initial story about why and how James Comey had been fired. “I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt. “I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.” Just a day before, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, echoing the administration’s previous statements, had told reporters that Trump had not decided to fire Comey before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo.
Trump’s allusion to tapes of conversations with Comey comes out of nowhere. It’s entirely unclear what the president is talking about here. A Nixonian recording setup? More alleged “tapps” from Obama cronies? The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman tweeted that foreign leaders have been nervous about the former possibility for some time.
What Trump actually means is anyone’s guess. But the president of the United States just casually threatened a private citizen—one he fired, by his own admission, over an investigation pertaining to him that he would like to see end.