US President Donald Trump has warned fired FBI chief James Comey against leaking material to the media.
He tweeted that Mr Comey had “better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations”, suggesting such tapes, if they existed, might contradict him.
Mr Comey, who had been leading an inquiry into possible collusion between Trump election campaign officials and Russia, was fired on Tuesday.
Mr Trump has insisted Mr Comey told him that he was not under investigation.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer later said Mr Trump had nothing more to say on the “tapes” but that the tweet the president had put out was “not a threat” to Mr Comey.
Mr Trump has said that Mr Comey has told him three times that he was not a target of the FBI inquiry, comments that have raised accusations among opponents that the president was interfering in the investigation.
Mr Trump also said this week that he alone was responsible for the decision to sack Mr Comey, calling him a “showboat” and “grandstander”.
But this appeared to undermine earlier comments from administration officials that Mr Comey had been fired on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein.
The first line of Mr Trump’s letter sacking Mr Comey refers to a memo written by Mr Rosenstein and says: “I have accepted their recommendation”.
But he later told NBC he was “going to fire him regardless of the recommendation”.
The White House said Mr Comey was fired over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email affair, but Democrats have asked, if that is the case, why it took so long.