White House Responds to Committee on 'Tapes' By Referring to Trump's Tweets
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 26, 2017,
Jun 26, 2017, 2:18
Ending a month-long guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy, President Donald Trump declared he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday, a day before the deadline, that he did not know if there were recordings of his conversations with Comey, but he did not make or have any such recordings.
Trump fired Comey in May, shortly after which Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead the FBI investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 US election and possible ties to Trump associates.
In Friday's interview, however, Trump drew attention to a different part of Comey's testimony, in which Comey for the first time publicly confirmed Trump's claim that the FBI under Comey had not investigated Trump personally in relation to its Russian Federation investigation.
"Although Comey may well be what I call roadkill in the subjects Mueller is investigating, he's not the victim", Stephen Gillers said. Comey has suggested that the tweet prompted him to ask an associate to release information to The New York Times. "I mean the whole thing is ridiculous, if you want to know the truth, from that standpoint". On May 10, Senate Intelligence Committee leaders invited Comey to testify about the circumstances of his firing - making headlines on cable news, which the President follows closely.
"He also offered some sane advice to "those out to get President Trump" to stop concocting "'crimes' out of the most innocent behaviour".
Trump's admission came minutes after Bloomberg published a story suggesting his widely teased recordings did not exist.
CNN reported on Thursday that two top U.S. intelligence officials told investigators Trump suggested they publicly deny any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, but that they did not feel he had ordered them to do so.
"Lordy, I hope there are tapes", said Comey.
Trump's top aides on Friday rushed to bolster Trump's comments.
Asked if it was a "smart" move to try and keep Comey "honest", Trump said: "It wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that".
Trump also did not say exactly what he thought had changed about Comey's story.
Trump's earlier suggestion about tapes evoked the secret White House recordings that led to Richard Nixon's downfall in the Watergate scandal. He said that Gingrich's explanation that the tapes tweet might have been malicious adds to the "smell of the obstruction claim".