US President Donald Trump threatened on Friday the former IMF director James Comey, publicly quoted in silence over unclear circumstances of his resignation on Tuesday.
Since the abrupt dismissal, the Republican president has done nothing to calm the moods or reassure critics who, not to mention constitutional crisis, fear and attempted intimidation or destabilization of the US federal police, and more widely of Justice, of which the FBI is dependent.
“James Comey might as well not have ‘tapes’ of our conversations before they start leaking to the press!” Trump wrote in a series of morning tweets in which he attacked his critics and the press for reactions to Comey’s dismissal.
Shortly thereafter, the Senate reported that Comey declined a Senate invitation to a closed-door hearing on Tuesday.
Trump’s tweet seems a threat and recalls the system implemented by President Richard Nixon (1961-1974), who recorded his telephone conversations and the White House with his interlocutors, a habit that turned against him in the Watergate scandal.
But White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump’s message “is not a threat,” but aims to avoid “sharing of unauthorized information.”
Regarding occasional recordings at the Oval Office, the spokesman merely stated that “the president has no other comments to make.”
In this regard, the president must hand over to Congress any record or acknowledge, once again, that he deliberately made a false statement, or in this case, a threatening one, “Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff reacted indignantly.
In the American press, many anonymous sources within the White House and administration have described a confused and tense environment in recent days, with the official version of withdrawal gaining increasingly personal airs.
Initially, the official reason given for the dismissal was James Comey’s behavior at the end of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail inquiry in 2016. He was criticized for holding a press conference and then announcing a resumption of investigations a few days before Presidential election
The White House assured that the departure had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation by the FBI into the possible collusion between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia.
– Comey silent –
But the billionaire eventually told NBC on Thursday that he had always intended to dismiss Comey as head of the FBI, which contradicted the White House’s information that the president acted on the recommendation of senior officials.
“When I decided, I told myself ‘this business with Russia, Trump, and Russia, is an invented story.'”
For months, the Republican president has been furious with his name being mentioned in the investigation, insisting there is no evidence of collusion, and accusing the media of artificially feeding the case instead of covering his economic or security decisions.
According to Trump himself, he asked James Comey directly in telephone conversations to confirm that he was not the subject of the investigation.
The degree of discontent of the 45th American president was clear in his tweets on Friday.
“The fake media are doing overtime today!” He wrote.
“Once again, the history of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign was invented by the Democrats as a pretext to justify their defeat in the election,” he said.
He also suggested the end of the White House’s daily briefings.
The Republican president introduces confusion between the different strands of the investigation. The FBI investigates not only a possible collusion, but also more generally about the Russian hacking attack during the campaign.
The reality of these interferences is clear: the six US intelligence officers, two of whom were appointed by Donald Trump, reaffirmed on Thursday that Russia had tried to influence the American elections.
FBI interim chief, Andrew McCabe, also said that the Russian investigation was of the utmost importance.
For now, the Republican dike remains in Congress, where the Democratic opposition remains isolated in its call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to ensure the independence of the investigation.
But dozens of Republicans expressed their discomfort, criticized the president’s tone, defended the former FBI director and even called for an independent commission of inquiry into Russia.