Washington (June 23, 2017): United States President Donald Trump has denied to record his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump tweeted, “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 statement ended speculation about whether the President recorded conversations in the Oval Office. Comey, who Trump fired last month, said he had hoped there were recordings of their conversations.
Trump tweeted on May 12, in response to a New York Times report about Comey’s dinner with Trump, that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Trump and his top aides have played coy for weeks about the possibility of White House tapes, treating their possible existence like a game show reveal.
But the tweet had serious repercussions for the President: The fired FBI director testified earlier this month that Trump’s message caused him to leak the bombshell content of a memo to the media through a professor at Columbia University.
A senior administration official said Thursday that it became clear 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.