"The President tweeted on Friday, after I got fired, that I better hope there's not tapes", Comey said in his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. The newspaper noted that it doesn't exclude the possibility of recordings created by another entity. But former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan recently told Congress that his "radar" went off anytime Russians met with the Trump campaign because he knew the Russians were trying to influence the election, and he knew they often did that by trying to recruit "either wittingly or unwittingly" US officials to help.
"The president made clear in the Rose Garden last week that he would have an announcement shortly", Spicer said. "When he's ready to further discuss, he will".
In a statement Thursday night, the Justice Department asserted that the only reason Sessions recused himself was because of his participation in the Trump campaign.
Reports from the White House indicate that that recusal has been a sore spot between President Donald Trump and Sessions.
In March, Sessions recused himself from any investigations into Russia's actions in the 2016 campaign.
"The attorney general has requested that this hearing be public", said spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.
That remark came after revelations emerged that Sessions had met with Russia's ambassador to the US last year, despite testifying under oath during a confirmation hearing that he "did not have communications with the Russians".
The Senate Intelligence Committee will get its chance Tuesday to hear from Attorney General Jeff Sessions under oath.
During his testimony last week, Comey said he had notes of meetings with Trump in which the president asked him for a pledge of personal loyalty and to drop the Russian Federation investigation as it pertained to former national security adviser Flynn.
Almost a month after firing off a suggestion on Twitter that such tapes may exist, Trump still refused to answer the question directly. Did you ask your deputy attorney general to write a memo recommending the firing of Comey?
The White House disputed the characterization, calling it offensive.
Trump has denied Comey's version of events.
Tuesday's testimony is likely also to touch on allegations that Sessions himself met more often than he has acknowledged with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director said he contacted Sessions after a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office where Sessions and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, were asked to leave and Comey was alone with the president.
"It is really unclear what he is going to say, and I am a little bit surprised because in the past, he has gotten into trouble when he said things and they turned out not to be entirely true", said Jens Ohlin, a professor of law at Cornell University.
"There's a real question of the propriety of the attorney general participating in that in any way, shape or form", Democratic Senator Jack Reed told the Fox News Sunday show.
"I think the President needs to let the investigation move on", the IL congressman said.
Fellow Republicans, meanwhile, pressed Trump to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey and provide them to Congress if he does - or possibly face a subpoena. National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, both declined to discuss their own Trump communications during a hearing last week.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer didn't address questions about potential recordings on Monday.
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