(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

"James Comey better hope": Trump threatens his former FBI director on Twitter

The paranoid president is concerned about James Comey — and may be starting battles with the FBI


Taylor Link
May 12, 2017 5:41PM (UTC)

Former FBI Director James Comey knows secrets that few people on Earth have access to, and now President Donald Trump fears that the lawman will start talking. The president took to Twitter Friday morning to issue a threat to Comey that erratically referenced "tapes" of their conversations that may or may not exist.

It was immediately unclear what "tapes" the president was alluding to in his tweet. Trump even hinted that Comey himself does not know if the tapes exist, suggesting they were recorded surreptitiously.

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Since Trump decided to fire his FBI director, he has had a difficult time laying off of Twitter. Earlier Friday, Trump tweeted that the "story" of his campaign's possible collusion with Russia was "fabricated" by Democrats as "an excuse for losing the election."

But Trump's tweet that transparently threatened Comey from "leaking to the press" seems to have crossed a line that even the Trump White House may not survive.

Norm Eisen, the White House ethics czar during the Obama administration, indicated Friday that Trump possibly committed a crime by sending that tweet.

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Comey, who was already at the center of the FBI investigation into Russia's election interference, could now be the one man in the country who can testify to Trump's possible obstruction of a federal investigation. Even if the congressional and law enforcement investigations into the Trump campaign fail to yield any hard evidence of collusion, the president may have just undone himself with his threatening tweet.

Trump's early morning declarations may come back to bite him if a newly rejuvenated FBI finds something that could eventually bring him down. According to reports, agents and career employees within the FBI are reeling from Comey's firing, and one Hill contributor recently claimed that the bureau has "Trump tapes" akin to Nixon's "Watergate tapes." It could only be a matter of time before something leaks.

On CNN "New Day" Friday, former White House senior adviser David Axelrod was left wondering how the American people can trust the president.

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"The problem with the president is that he spent a career flouting laws, norms and the truth," Axelrod said.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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