WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump said that he “did not make” and doesn’t have any recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
On Twitter Thursday, the president said, “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”
The president fired Comey in May and then tweeted that the lawman, who was overseeing the investigation into possible contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”
Trump and his aides have since then steadfastly refused to clarify that extraordinary if ambiguous warning. The president last month told reporters that “I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the near future” but offered no hints as to whether the tapes exists, except saying that some journalists would “be very disappointed” to find out the answer.
Comey testified before the Senate that Trump asked for his loyalty and asked for him to drop the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey declared at the hearing.
The House intelligence committee has asked White House counsel Don McGahn to provide an answer to the question about tapes by Friday.
Under a post-Watergate law, the Presidential Records Act, recordings made by presidents belong to the people and can eventually be made public. Destroying them would be a crime.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)