President Donald Trump warned ousted FBI Director James Comey on Friday against talking to the media, suggesting there might be tapes of conversations between the two men that could contradict his account.
Comey, who was the former public face of the FBI, was previously applauded by Trump for his handling of the investigation into Clinton's private email server.
"But having a single story in line in terms of how it happened and why it happened, that everybody is on the same page, and then what the next steps are I think helps to diminish the blowback they you get". Comey declined to make that promise but told the president he could count on his honesty, the paper said.
Comey was "taken aback" by Trump's request for a personal assurance or pledge of loyalty at the dinner, a source close to Comey told CNN. However, Trump later clarified that he would have fired Comey even without Rosenstein's recommendation. That night, Press Secretary Sean Spicer also told reporters: "It was all him", meaning Mr Rosenstein.
Comey's people added that Comey was wary about dining with the president, but believed he couldn't turn him down.
The White House Correspondents' Association responded to the tweets with a statement from President Jeff Mason saying that the briefings "provide substantive and symbolic opportunities for journalists to pose questions to officials at the highest levels of the USA government". The tweet seems to imply Trump recorded the dinner, and considering that recording might contain evidence of obstruction of justice, House members John Conyers and Elijah Cummings would like to listen.More news: Western Conference finals begin in Anaheim
"Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"
The reference to tapes has done nothing to silence the echoes of the Watergate affair that have resounded around the Russian interference inquiry.
Comey had been leading the federal counterintelligence investigation into whether advisers to the President had sought to collude with Russian officials in their efforts to swing the 2016 election.
Mr Comey's successor, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, said on Thursday that it remained "a highly significant investigation".
The prospect of secret recordings of White House meetings harkens back to the Nixon administration, when President Nixon taped Oval Office meetings.
"I can confidently tell you that the vast majority of employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey", Mr McCabe said.