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Trump Warns Comey: Better Hope There Are No Tapes

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Political Editor – LeNora Millen

President Trump hit the Twitter feeds Friday morning issuing a cryptic threat to fired FBI Director James Comey.  Since the firing of Comey, media leaks contradicting the White House have come under fire.

As for the former FBI director, Trump tweeted: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

It is not known whether Trump tapes his conversations.

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

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

Amid the controversy surrounding Comey’s firing, various reports emerged late Thursday revealing current and former FBI officials dispute Trump’s account of a meeting he had with Comey earlier this year.

In an NBC interview with Lester Holt on Thursday, Trump claims Comey requested a dinner with him, during which Comey supposedly asked to stay on as the FBI head.

The president also said Comey told him three times — twice over the phone and once at their dinner meeting — that he was not the subject of any FBI investigations.

Trump’s claim has been met with disbelief and concern in Washington. Many of Bureau officials, speaking to the press contradict Trump’s version of the dinner.

Officials speaking with NBC recalled the White House requested the dinner meeting, not Comey. A former senior official said that Comey would never have told the president he was not under investigation.

Two unnamed sources who have heard his account of the dinner told The New York Times that Trump asked Comey to pledge his political loyalty at the dinner — but was rebuffed by Comey, who promised honesty but not loyalty.

The conflicting accounts are on the precipice of the White House offering different explanations for Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

“Trump tells Lester Holt: “I’d been planning to fire James Comey for a while”

Although White House officials initially stated that the dismissal was based on Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Trump shifted his claims in the letter—explaining his reason for Comey’s firing—by linking the decision to the bureau’s probe into Russian meddling in the election.

“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,” he told Lester Holt, NBC News in an interview that aired Thursday.

An important aspect of the Russia investigation includes examining whether any Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russia to help swing the election. In public testimony on May 3, 2017, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, declined to comment on whether the president was a subject of the probe.

Ongoing reports suggest that Comey’s refusal to pledge his loyalty to the president possibly factored in Trump’s abrupt firing of the Former FBI director.

The morning Twitter threat—fueled already-simmering comparisons to President Richard Nixon, who in his “Nixonian” way refused a subpoena to turn over audio recordings of his Oval Office conversations — ultimately constituting an article of impeachment against him.

Trump’s decision to lash out at the former FBI director also occurred during, which the White House facing scrutiny for the manner in which Trump handled Comey’s firing. A manila envelope was delivered to Comey’s office in Washington at the orders of the President.  At the time Comey was in California, speaking to bureau employees. He reportedly learned of his firing when televisions in the room began broadcasting the breaking news of his dismissal.

In Trump’s early morning series of Tweets Friday, he also reacted to claims that he undermined his staff by threatening to cancel future “press briefings.”

“As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!” Trump said in a tweet that he followed up in a second missive: “Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

 

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Business

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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Business

TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

More from CNN…

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