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Live Reporting

Rebecca Seales, Tom Spender and Max Matza

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all folks

    Here endeth our live coverage for today. You can follow the latest on "Comeygate" here.

    We leave you with a clip of Michelle Obama today criticising the Trump administration's decision to suspend federal rules to make school lunch healthier. 

    "Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap," the former US first lady says of her pet project. 

    View more on twitter
  2. California Democrats send warning

    Protesters in San Diego gathered outside a Republican retreat to send a message.

    They spelled out "2018", indicating that they are mobilising for the upcoming midterm elections.

    View more on twitter
  3. The BBC take on a fast-moving morning

    Video content

    Video caption: Trump 'overshadowing his own work'
  4. 'Every word picked apart'

    Spicer again grouses about what he depicts as an overly adversarial relationship between the press and the White House.

    "We work day and night to make sure that we get you the most up-to-date, accurate information at all times.

    "I think the president’s point… is that there are times when we’re asked a question, we do our best to give you the answer and every word is picked apart to try to figure out how to make an issue out of it."

    View more on twitter
  5. Spicer loyalty pledge?

    Sean Spicer
    Image caption: Spicer denied Trump had demanded a promise

    Spicer says he was not asked to take a pledge of loyalty to Trump before he was hired.

    "I’ve pledged my loyalty to the constitution and to the American people," he says, "as has everyone who serves in our government and this administration, and we stand by that."

  6. Senate wants Russia briefing

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (Republican) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (Democrat) have written to the Department of Justice and the FBI to request a briefing on "the Russia investigation".

    In a letter addressed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director McCabe, they demand a follow-up briefing to the one provided by Comey on 3 May.

    "The committee leaders requested that the FBI and Justice Department call to set dates for the briefings by 5 pm today," they write, also providing both their office's phone numbers. 

  7. Wikileaks bounty for Comey 'tapes'

    Wikileaks says it is offering a $100,000 (£75,000) reward for the Trump-Comey "tapes" President Trump suggested may exist in a tweet earlier today.

    View more on twitter
  8. Where's the beef?

    Sean Spicer
    Image caption: The real meat of the briefing awaits...

    Spicer kicked off his return to the podium this week by talking about the US beef industry. 

    Critics point out the elephant in the room on Friday - Trump's tweets this morning.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  9. Trump 'out of control'?

    A former FBI official told a White House journalist that the "implicit threat to the FBI" indicates that Trump is "out of control", says one journalist.

    When asked to respond, Spicer said that is "frankly offensive".

    Sean Spicer
    Image caption: Sean Spicer
  10. 'Pleasure of the president'

    Spicer says: "The bottom line is, is that the director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the president."

    Of Comey's eventual successor, the press secretary says the president wants to make sure we have "the right person".

    The recruitment process is being headed by the Department of Justice, he adds, which is screening candidates and will share that list with the president.

  11. White House Correspondents' Association alarmed

    The White House Correspondents' Association is warning President Trump not to follow through on that hint that he could do away with press briefings.

    The media organisation’s president, Jeff Mason of Reuters, said: "That exercise, conducted in full view of our republic’s citizens, is clearly in line with the spirit of the First Amendment.

    "Doing away with briefings would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the US system, no political figure is above being questioned."

  12. Trump dismayed

    Spicer says Trump is "dismayed" by attempts to "parse every little word" uttered during White House press briefings.  

    Earlier, Trump tweeted a veiled threat to cancel the daily press briefings.

    View more on twitter
  13. 'No loyalty pledge'

    "No," Spicer responds when asked about a report that the president asked Comey during their January dinner if he could count on his loyalty.

  14. Recording devices?

    Press secretary Sean Spicer is back up. 

    He is asked about this intriguing tweet from the president...

    View more on twitter

    The press secretary is asked if there are any recording devices in the Oval Office, and whether the president taped a private dinner conversation with former FBI Director James Comey.

    "The president has nothing further to add on that," Spicer says. Three times.    

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  15. What exactly is 'America First'?

    The BBC's Tara McKelvey asks McMasters to define America First.

    "The president is prioritising the security and interests of the American people", the national securtiy adviser explains.

    "Every theme of this trip is consistent with this approach", he says.

    "This trip is going to be a tremendous way to solidify the gains already made."

  16. 'America First didn't mean America alone'


    McMaster says the US doesn't have to do and bankroll "everything", but adds that nor does it mean "American not leading".

    "America First didn't mean America Alone ever," the national security adviser says.  

    He adds Trump "will be welcome in all the places he is visiting on this trip" and that America's allies must do more to share the burden of defence.

  17. 'Trans-national terrorists'

    McMaster says President Trump has made no final decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.

    He says the Afghan army is currently taking the brunt of the fight against "trans-national terrorists".

  18. McMaster will only talk about the trip

    The national security adviser refuses to take questions on the firing of Comey.

    His own predecessor, Michael Flynn, was fired after less than 30 days on the job.

  19. Trump's 'message of tolerance'

    "He will bring a message of tolerance and hope to billions" says the national security adviser about Trump's upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome.

    No president has before visited the holy lands of all three major faiths in the course of one trip, McMasters says. 

    The idea to visit the three regions was Trump's, he tells reporters. 

    McMaster says: "The impetus for this trip came from the president himself"… "he’s been receiving regular briefings"… his relations with foreign leaders "are off to a very strong start"… this trip "will broaden and deepen those relationships".