'I don't have tapes of conversation with Comey'
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 17:38
Referring to Mr. Comey, the president said that "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".
He said: "James Comey better hope there are no "tapes" of our conversations".
Other key members of Mr Trump's campaign team have also been accused of meeting key Russian officials before taking office; it is illegal to conduct United States diplomacy as a private citizen.
The tweet caused an uproar, immediately raising comparisons with the Watergate-era taping system that caused the downfall of President Richard Nixon, and demands for Trump to immediately hand over any recordings.
"Wonder what James Comey was doing at the New York Times".
Comey had told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that the Trump administration had lied and defamed him and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the President dismissed him on May 9.
"The notion of tapes, for Comey, that tweet, that made him excited", surmised the host.
Comey later alleged that Trump had solicited a pledge of personal loyalty and sought to have him end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Two top USA intelligence officials have told investigators President Donald Trump suggested they publicly deny any collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, but they did not feel he had ordered them to do so, CNN reported on Thursday, citing multiple sources.
"I think he was in his way instinctively trying to rattle Comey", former House Speaker and Trump advisor Newt Gingrich told AP shortly before Trump's tweets today. There apparently are no tapes that could confirm what exactly happened in those chats.
In the contemporaneous memos, Mr Comey alleges Mr Trump sought a pledge of loyalty and said he hoped the FBI would "let go" an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his alleged ties to Russian Federation.
"There has been leaking by Comey", Trump added.
But the White House and the president repeatedly declined to give a direct answer. White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said Wednesday that an answer would be provided this week, presumably by the Friday deadline set by the House intelligence committee for turning over any tapes.
Following the testimony, Trump once again teased the existence of the elusive tapes, launching officials and reporters on a witch hunt to find these recordings. "You'll have to take a look at that, because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events".
"Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told ABC's 'This Week" that the President will address the tapes "next week". He also said he orchestrated a leak of information from memos he wrote about his recollections of private conversations with the president to trigger the naming of a special counsel, which did follow.
Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he told the president he would be "honestly loyal" and that the conversation made him "uneasy".