'I did not make, and do not have' Comey tapes

President Donald Trump said in an interview airing on Fox and Friends Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller has a "bothersome" relationship with James Comey, the former FBI director who was heading the bureau's Russian Federation investigation until Trump abruptly fired him in May.

The contents of memos were outlined by Mr Comey in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States election. Trump had fired Comey three days earlier, and his tweet came just after a New York Times story reporting that Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty.

Those allegations are believed to now be part of an independent Justice Department prosecutor's probe into possible illegal obstruction of the investigation by the president.

Comey was overseeing the investigation until Trump fired him last month out of frustration with the inquiry. Trump tweeted on May 12.

And it took on more weight when Comey leaked out his own private memorandums of several discussions with Trump, in which he described the president as improperly pressuring him over the Russian Federation probe.

Trump had raised the possibility of tapes in May when he fired Comey, who was heading the FBI investigation into alleged Russia's meddling in the November 8 2016 US presidential election.

"When he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed", Trump told Earhardt.

In early June, Comey said that after one of the meetings with the President he wrote a note about the content of their conversation and told his friend that he forwarded the document to the media. He first floated the idea on Twitter, and he returned to that medium Thursday afternoon to say that if there are tapes, he didn't create them and doesn't have them.

CNN quoted a senior administration official as saying it became clear that President Trump had to "come clean on his lie about the Comey tapes before the Friday deadline set on him by Congress to hand over any recordings".

Trump told reporters on June 9 that he would respond to calls for tapes to be released, but warned that they might be "disappointed" with the outcome. The White House had said Trump would likely clarify whether he had tapes of Comey by the end of this week.

"He's very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome", Trump said.

"If the president's statement is accurate, it of course raises as many questions as it answers", Schiff said in a statement.

  • Carolyn Briggs