40 days later Trump admits: No Comey tapes

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, as special counsel to oversee the investigation, including potential collusion between Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials.

Now, the president wants us to know the real reason he use tapes to threaten the former FBI director - who claims he was sacked after refusing to drop the Michael Flynn investigation.

It is true that both Comey and Mueller worked together as Department of Justice colleagues during the George W. Bush administration, and did have a work-related friendship.

Trump voiced concern in a TV interview on Fox News earlier on Friday about what he said was the close relationship between former FBI Director James Comey and Mueller, who was named to take over the Russian Federation investigation after Trump fired Comey. "But he's also - we're going to have to see", he said. There has been no collusion.

It is unclear whether Comey had leaked to the Times on other occasions.

"I can say the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters", he added. U.S. news reports say some of these staffers have made campaign contributions to Democratic candidates.

"Robert Mueller is an honourable man, and hopefully he'll come up with an honourable solution", Trump said of the decorated former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, criminal prosecutor and marine.

And in an interview with CNN on Friday, Kellyanne Conway refused to say why it took Trump 42 days to admit that he knew he didn't record Comey, but also left open the possibility that recordings may exist.

In light of his suspicion, Trump said in Friday's interview, he suggested he may have taped Comey in an effort to keep him honest. And he also testified that US President Donald Trump asked for him to pledge his loyalty. "And if you look further back, before he heard about that, I think maybe he wasn't admitting that".

The first five months of Donald Trump's presidency have been packed with so many scandals that it has truly become an increasingly hard task to follow them. "I hope you can let this go", said Trump, according to Comey.

Mr Trump responded at that time, via Twitter, that Mr Comey "better hope that there are no 'tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!' His instinct is: "'I'll out-bluff you'".

That claim quickly raised concerns that Mr Trump, like some past USA presidents, was secretly recording all of his conversations in the White House.

Two interviews on Friday indicate that the White House's line has now shifted. In March, he tweeted the incendiary claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, a charge he's never supported.

  • Larry Hoffman