Donald Trump denies recording conversations with former FBI director Comey
US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he did not make and does not possess any tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James ComeyUpdated: Jun 22, 2017 23:21 IST
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he did not record his conversations with former FBI director James Comey and that he doesn’t know if they exist, reversing a narrative he himself started when he threatened the latter with “tapes”.
“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea,” President Trump said in a Tweet, adding,, in another post, “…whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”
Here is his Twitter post from May 5, the day after he suddenly fired Comey, that started talk of tapes. “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
That tweet reminded many Americans of the Watergate scandal, the darkest chapter in recent US politics, during which it was discovered that then President Richard Nixon used to secretly recorded conversations he had had with officials in the White House. Nixon resigned shortly to escape being impeached.
Trump’s claim of “tapes” took on a life of its own as White House aides refused to deny their existences and repeatedly pointed all questions about it to the president’s tweet, reinforcing a narrative that Trump might be recording his official conversation, something he did as a businessman.
Trump had multiple opportunities to deny the existence of tapes, including at a joint news conference with the visiting head of state. He told reporters, in response to a question about when he will release them or talk about them, “I’ll tell you about it over a very short period of time … Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer. Don’t worry.”
First Published: Jun 22, 2017 23:09 IST