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'That's not a threat. He simply stated a fact': Spicer plays down Trump 'tapes' warning

The US President fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday.

PastedImage-36471 Source: Twitter

Updated 9.08pm

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON Sean Spicer has repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility that Donald Trump has recorded his Oval Office conversations, and insisted the president had not threatened his sacked FBI director.

Earlier, President Trump has tweeted an apparent threat to James Comey, the former FBI Director he fired earlier this week.

In a series of tweets this morning, Trump first took aim at what he called the “fake media” for reporting on the alleged links between his campaign and Russia.

He then tweeted what amounts to a warning to Comey, stating:

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

President Trump Hosts The Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers And Trump whispers to Comey during a White House meeting in January. Source: DPA/PA Images

“The president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer said numerous times in answer to rapid-fire questions in a later press conference.

“I don’t think — that’s not a threat. He simply stated a fact. The tweet speaks for itself. I’m moving on,” Spicer said.

After firing Comey, the White House said it was based on a damning assessment of his handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Others have pointed out that Comey was the man leading the FBI investigation into alleged links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Whether Trump was suggesting there are actually tapes of their conversations is unknown at present.

Many have pointed out that his reference to “tapes” is reminiscent of the famed Nixon White House tapes that were revealed after the Watergate scandal.

US presidential historian Michael Beschloss points out that the taping of visitors by US Presidents has not been a routine since Nixon’s time.

Trump sacked Comey on Tuesday stating that it was done on the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General.

He then appeared to contradict himself in an interview with NBC saying that he was always going to fire Comey regardless of the advice of his legal advisors.

With reporting from AFP

Read: ‘He’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander’: Trump says he was always going to fire James Comey >

Read: From ‘Lock her up’ to ‘You’re Fired’: The incredible timeline of Trump, Comey, Clinton and Russia >

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Rónán Duffy

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