With 'tapes' tweet, Trump evokes Nixon's White House

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That night, he emerged from among the bushes in the dark at the White House and he addressed reporters about Comey's dismissal.

In the termination letter, Trump wrote that he believes "Comey is not able to effectively lead the Bureau", and that "it is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission".

Some in the agency resented the political spotlight Comey had brought on the bureau with his public statements at the center of the Russian Federation and Hillary Clinton email investigation firestorms.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, May 12, 2017.

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Trump then defended both deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as "a lovely young woman", who had substituted for Spicer during the briefings on Wednesday and Thursday, when he was serving duty with the Navy Reserve, and calling Spicer "a wonderful human being" and "a nice man". "And hey, if you're concerned that when exposed to the outdoors, the image will run - no worries, that's exactly what Sean Spicer does, so it's totally authentic!" "They really don't. I'm not saying that in a bragging way". They've distanced the decision from the FBI probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign, only to later suggest Comey's firing would aid the investigation. So, instead, he hid.

Watch the press briefing live, scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. EDT, above. At first, they said they might do a briefing, then decided they absolutely wouldn't.

Mr Spicer reportedly avoided the press huddle awaiting him by spending "several minutes hidden in the bushes".

"Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off!"

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Trump fired Comey on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Period. Case closed. Bye!

But just like that, the president gave an interview to NBC News in which he said it was his idea from the beginning, and that he was thinking about Russian Federation when he made the final decision to fire Comey.

Sanders' missteps highlight the enormous challenges of serving as press secretary to a president like Trump, who appears to leave his own communications staff in the dark while making claims that seem to contradict theirs.

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

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