On his show Thursday night, Colbert said, "The president of the United States has personally come after me and my show, and there's only one thing to say. yay!"
Spicer said he wasn't aware of any audio recording of the January 27 dinner where Comey reportedly expressed interest in keeping his job and Trump said he asked and was assured he's not under FBI investigation. Capping a week in which Trump faced a slew of criticism for firing the man investigating his campaign's possible ties to Russia, Trump warned James Comey there could be retribution if he speaks to the press about their private conversations.
Trump said that he wanted to move quickly to find a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director and said the potential candidates for the position were "outstanding people" and "very well known". I think loyalty to the country, loyalty to the USA, is important.
Noted legal scholar Laurence Tribe told AFP that if Comey did indeed answer Trump's question, it would violate Department of Justice rules and "would be unthinkably unethical and unprofessional in this situation".
May 12, 2017: Trump tweets that Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" The two-page, follow-up letter said that, in fact, only "a small number" of the thousands of emails found on the laptop had been forwarded there while most had simply been backed up from electronic devices.
"There are times you read a story where someone is trying to pull apart one word one sentence ... and make it a gotcha thing", Spicer added.
All along, his spokesmen have maintained that Trump's decision had nothing to do with the ongoing Russian Federation investigation that was being overseen by Comey.
On Thursday, however, Trump sat down for an interview with NBC's Lester Holt and claimed it was his idea to fire Comey.
The former prosecutors who signed the letter include Benito Romano, the district's interim U.S. Attorney during President George H.W. Bush's administration; Robert Cleary, who served as U.S. Attorney in New Jersey after working in the NY office; and Richard Ben-Veniste, who was a special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal and later served as a member of the bipartisan commission that investigated the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Trump said there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians", and that "the Russians did not affect the vote".
In a sit-down Friday with Fox News, Trump insinuated that he is thinking of shaking up his communications staff - even taking over the press briefings himself. Comey says he refused but promised to be honest.
But Democrats wasted no time pouncing on the possibility recordings of Trump and Comey might exist. Meantime, Spicer denies that Trump asked Comey during a dinner to pledge his loyalty to the president.
White House briefings and news conferences provide both "substantive and symbolic opportunities" for journalists to question government officials, said Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters and president of the White House Correspondents Association.
"Trump actually brought into the White House with him a host of scandals". Some senior officials have discussed nominating Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who ran the House committee that investigated Secretary of State Clinton's actions in connection with the 2012 attack on a USA compound in Benghazi, Libya.