James Clapper on collusion between Russia, Trump aides: There could be evidence

When Trump then pressed for "honest loyalty", Comey told him, "You will have that", the associates said.

If the Trump White House is caught in a vortex of its own making, its ability to have any impact on world affairs will greatly diminish.

Pressed once again by Ms Pirro to confirm that Mr Spicer would remain in post in the future, Mr Trump's reply was equivocal, saying he's "been there from the beginning".

Opponents have claimed that Comey's shock sacking was a bid to stall an FBI investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which is also looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's team. Not even Vice President Mike Pence was spared the embarrassment of having told a version of events that was later discredited by Trump. On Capitol Hill, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe strongly disputed the White House's assertion that Comey had been fired in part because he had lost the confidence of the FBI's rank-and-file. Flynn worked closely and tirelessly on Trump's campaign a year ago and was rewarded by being given one of the top posts in government and the intelligence community.

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Richard Durbin, went further on Friday and said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should appoint an independent special prosecutor to pursue possible criminal charges related to Comey's firing, although he did not specify if he meant such charges should be against Trump.

Trump is considering 11 people to replace Comey, a White House official said.

Trump eyes 'fast decision' on Federal Bureau of Investigation director as interviews begin
White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeatedly refused on Friday to deny that Donald Trump is secretly taping visitors. CNN said Comey is "not anxious about any tapes" Trump may have, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.

Among those expected at the Justice Department on Saturday are acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe and Alice Fisher, a top Justice Department official in the George W Bush administration.

"I don't think it's inappropriate", Trump said. In September of that year, the counselor of the finance committee to re-elect Nixon, G. Gordon Liddy, and a former White House consultant and member of the Central Intelligence Agency, E. Howard Hunt, were indicted by a grand jury. "And at that time he told me 'you are not under investigation'".

Mr McCabe promised to expose any White House meddling into the probe on Russian Federation.

President Trump tweeted Friday that "Comey had better hope there are no tapes of our conversations", and Press Secretary Sean Spicer refused to answer press questions about whether there are recording devices in the White House.

"He said: "You are not under investigation".

Mr Trump has said that Mr Comey has told him three times that he was not a target of the FBI inquiry, comments that have raised accusations among opponents that the president was interfering in the investigation.

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