Trump Suggests His 'Tapes' Tweet Was Meant to Keep Comey Honest

Claudine Rigal
Juin 25, 2017

"But when (Comey) found out that there maybe are tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else or who knows, I think his story may have changed and you'll have to look into that because then he'll have to tell what actually took place at the events".

"It wasn't very stupid, I'll tell you that", Trump said.

He said, Trump's tweet has no impact on the advisory group's examination of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Last week, it was revealed that Mueller - who led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2001 to 2013 before Comey was tapped - had requested interviews with top intelligence officials about their conversations with Trump in an effort to investigate possible obstruction of justice.

When news of Comey's account broke, Trump tweeted that Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!".

Mr Trump had earlier questioned Robert Mueller's integrity in an interview with Fox News.

Trump had also taken to Twitter to complain that the investigations by the FBI and Congress into allegations of improper links with Russian Federation and possible obstruction of justice constituted "the single greatest Witch hunt in American political history".

While the president said he believed Mr Mueller was an "honourable man", he also pointed out that he was friends with Mr Comey, the man controversially fired by the president last month. That associate then shared the memo with The New York Times. Trump told Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt that the Justice Department's investigation into allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, and allegations of obstruction of justice, was "ridiculous".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that while Trump "retains the authority" to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, "he has no intention of doing that".

"Well, he is very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome", Trump said.

Trump's choice of words suggests his initial speculation may have referred to the possibility that an intelligence agency secretly recorded his Comey talks.

Investigators will also weigh the credibility of Mr Comey against a president who has shown a wobbly commitment to accuracy.

Conaway said that the tweet wasn't a sufficient response, while Schiff noted that Trump's tweet stopped short of denying that the White House had recordings and said he wanted a response in writing. For five-and-a-half weeks, the president and senior White House officials refused to tell the public whether such tapes exist. She also could not explain Trump's new reference to possible surveillance.

Comey confirmed those conversations one day before his Senate hearing when he released his opening statement. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint.

"This is part and parcel of a White House trying to operate in something close to an accountability free zone", Tapper said.

According to a timeline provided by Politifact, Comey's decision to speak out about the conversations with Trump were inspired by the mention of recordings.

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Ken Thomas and Deb Riechmann contributed reporting.

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