Trump admits he has no tapes of conversations with former FBI chief Comey
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he does not have “tapes” of his private conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey, finally ending a mystery of his own creation that began last month when he suggested that he had privately recorded their talks.
Trump on May 12 floated the idea that he had an audio record of their conversations, apparently as a way to intimidate Comey. For five and a half weeks, the president and senior White House officials refused to tell the public whether such tapes exist.
But after an inquiry from congressional investigators about the tapes, Trump tweeted on Thursday:
...whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
On May 12, a day after details of a one-on-one dinner he had with Comey were reported by the New York Times, Trump tweeted a threat to the former FBI director, whom he had recently fired.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
In the weeks since, Trump, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and other top officials have repeatedly been pressed on whether the president had such “tapes” and whether he records private conversations in the White House. They declined to provide answers each time.
At a June 9 news conference, Trump played coy when asked whether the “tapes” exist. He told reporters they would have to wait “a fairly short period of time” to find out.
“Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer,” Trump said. “Don’t worry.”
Comey, meanwhile, effectively dared Trump to release whatever “tapes” he may have.
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said in his Senate testimony earlier this month.