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Spicer Dodges Questions About Possible Trump-Comey Recordings

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday dodged questions about the existence of taped conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.
Image: Sean Spicer at the daily press briefing
White House press secretary Sean Spicer Evan Vucci / AP

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday dodged questions about whether President Donald Trump would respond to Congressional inquiries about the existence of taped conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.

"I made it clear I would have nothing further on that," Spicer told reporters during the daily briefing.

The White House spokesman has declined to answer questions about whether Trump was recording conversations with Comey after the president tweeted that the former FBI head “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations.” The tweet prompted lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to call for the release of the tapes if they exist.

“If there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said on “Meet The Press” on Sunday.

Trump’s tweet came after media reports that Comey declined to pledge his loyalty to Trump shortly after the new president was sworn in.

Comey’s abrupt dismissal has emboldened Democrats’ calls for a special prosecutor to oversee the Department of Justice investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.

House Democrats, meanwhile, are also calling for the creation of an independent commission to investigate Russian ties to the Trump campaign and Trump’s firing of Comey. Because an independent commission can only be created through the passage of legislation, Democrats will attempt to force a vote of the entire House Wednesday, a move that is likely to fail because they don’t have a majority.

“The sudden firing of the Director of the FBI in the middle of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump-Russia connection is the latest in a grave pattern of abuses of power by President Trump. Our Caucus has been fully engaged in demanding accountability from President Trump and the Republican Congress that enables him,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan Monday.

Pelosi asked Ryan to invite Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to come brief the House. Rosenstein will appear on Capitol Hill Thursday to brief all 100 senators on his version of the firing of Comey.

And on Monday a second Democrat, Rep. Al Green of Texas, called for Trump’s impeachment.

“I think it’s a very possible option,” Green said in an interview on MSNBC. “It’s possible because, again, the public will have the last word. Events are still unfolding and the president has committed acts that are impeachable. You don’t fire the person that’s investigating you and then say, ‘I did it and I thought about the investigation at the time that I did it'.”

Spicer has continued to dismiss the need for a special prosecutor, saying, there are three ongoing probes.

“You have a House committee, a Senate committee, the FBI. I don’t know why you need additional resources when you already have three entities,” he said Monday.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found that just 29 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s decision to fire Comey, and 78 percent support an independent commissioner or special prosecutor.

Spicer gave few hints about the timing of when a new FBI director would be named. Former House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers, Texas Sen. John Cornyn and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe are among the finalists for the position, sources familiar with the interview process have told NBC News.