Saturday 22 July 2017

Donald Trump has revealed all about those cryptic James Comey ‘tapes’ tweets

The President has suggested he was trying to keep the fired FBI director honest.

(Alex Brandon/AP)
(Alex Brandon/AP)

By Kameron Virk

President Donald Trump has opened up about the tweets he sent suggesting there could be tape recordings of his conversations with then FBI director James Comey.

Trump appeared to suggest back in May that there might be recordings of their private conversations but, after revealing that he hadn’t actually made any, the President suggested he was just trying to keep Comey honest.

Speaking to Fox & Friends a day after a series of tweets confirmed there were never any tapes to begin with, Trump said: “When he found out that I, you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed.”

Standing next to First Lady Melania Trump, the President suggested that reports of surveillance under other administrations could have kept the fired FBI director guessing as to whether there was evidence of their conversations.

Asked if it was a “smart” move to try and keep Comey “honest”, Trump said: “It wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. He was — he did admit that what I said was right.”

June 23, 2017— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends)

The tape saga kicked off over a month ago – a few days after Trump fired Comey – who was leading an investigation into potential Trump administration ties to Russian officials.

The President has disputed Comey’s version of a January dinner during which the president asked for a pledge of loyalty, according to Comey.

Trump never specified in the interview which part of Comey’s story may have changed, and the former FBI director has only offered his story publicly once, in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“I think he was in his way instinctively trying to rattle Comey,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump confidant, said before the Thursday tweets. “He’s not a professional politician. He doesn’t come back and think about Nixon and Watergate. His instinct is ‘I’ll out-bluff you.'”

June 22, 2017— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Comey testified that he had told the President in multiple conversations he was not personally under federal investigation and said the President implored him to make that public. Trump has seized on that statement as vindication although the investigation is ongoing, as are congressional inquiries.

Comey also testified that Trump asked him for “loyalty” — which Trump emphatically denies.

“My story didn’t change, my story was always a straight story, my story was always the truth,” Trump said.

He added: “But you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed”.

Trump’s declaration that there are no recordings means the investigation is likely to be between the President’s word and Comey’s notes.

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