Trump: I Don't Have Tapes of Comey Conversations

President Donald Trump shakes hands with James Comey / Getty
June 22, 2017

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he did not make any recordings of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.

Trump had previously hinted at the existence of such tapes in the aftermath of his decision to fire Comey on May 9. He tweeted on May 12 that Comey should hope there were no "tapes" of their conversations "before he starts leaking to the press."

In a pair of tweets, however, Trump wrote Thursday that "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."

In a joint press conference on June 9, Trump said he would address whether there are any tapes "in the very near future."

The initial tweet hinting at the existence of tapes has proved critical. Comey testified to lawmakers on June 8 that the tweet prompted him to leak a memo about a conversation in which Trump told him he hoped he could back off the investigation into ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey said he leaked the information in hopes of getting a special counsel put in charge of the Russia investigation, which ultimately happened with the appointment of Robert Mueller.