President Donald Trump on Thursday said he did not make nor does he have any “tapes” or recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, despite having previously teased at the idea that they did exist.
“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets on Thursday afternoon.
Trump’s announcement comes a day before a House Intelligence Committee deadline. The panel had asked the White House to produce any types or documentation that may exist by this Friday.
Trump first broached the possibility of “tapes” with a May 12 tweet, just three days after he abruptly fired Comey, who was leading an investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and Russia to influence the 2016 election.
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” the president warned that morning.
Comey later told lawmakers under oath that the president’s tweet sparked the idea to pass on the contents of a memo he kept detailing an interaction with the president to a friend, who shared that information with The New York Times.
That memo and others led to the Justice Department naming a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, to oversee the bureau’s Russia investigation, which now includes potential obstruction of justice.
The president told reporters earlier this month he would be forthcoming about the possible existence of tapes “over a very short period of time.”
“Oh, you’re gonna be very disappointed when you hear the answer,” he said. “Don’t worry.”
By: POLITICO Staff