In a press briefing which could only have one focus, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took to the podium on Friday (12 May) to field questions on the ousting of FBI Director James Comey and the subsequent political fallout for US President Donald Trump.

When asked multiple times about a morning tweet which seemed to threaten Comey with "tapes" of their conversations, Spicer simply said: "The President has nothing further to add on that."

"Are there recording devices in the Oval Office or in the residence?" one reporter asked. "As I said for the third time," Spicer replied, "there is nothing further to add on that."

That morning, Trump had tweeted: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Yet after multiple questions, Spicer would not be further pressed on the matter.

The White House has been in seeming disarray since Trump summarily fired Comey on Tuesday night, with differing and contradictory narratives of the incident flying around. In his original letter dismissing Comey, Trump said he was acting on the recommendation of the Department of Justice - though in a later interview he said he would have fired him "regardless" of the Justice Department's recommendations.

The White House also said that Comey was unpopular within the FBI, something that has been disputed by Comey's replacement, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who told a senate committee that Comey had broad support within the agency.

Trump's timing in firing Comey has been questioned by many, especially after reports claimed that just days earlier, Comey had asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for further resources for the bureau's investigation into Russian interference in the last election.

A letter from Rosenstein critical of Comey was then cited by Trump as recommendation for Comey's dismissal.

Sean Spicer
White House spokesman Sean Spicer stands by the lectern before holding his press briefing, 12 May 2017 REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque