Earlier this morning, President Trump tweeted out that FBI Director James Comey had “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Igniting a firestorm of speculation about what Comey may have said, and if the president was bluffing, the media had a field day with this story on Friday.
According to the barely credible news agency CNN, they say a source close to the disgraced former FBI director told CNN that Comey is “not worried about any tapes” of conversations between him and President Trump.
Another mainstream media outlet reported that someone from Comey’s inner circle said: “He hopes there are tapes. That would be perfect.”
A source close to Comey told me this morning: “He hopes there are tapes. That would be perfect.”
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) May 12, 2017
When White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the alleged tapes during Friday’s briefing, he stated the president wouldn’t have any further comments about the tweet, which he denied was a “threat” to Comey to silence him, but rather he was “simply stating a fact.”
Spicer also did not confirm or deny the White House records the president’s phone calls.
The president’s tweet sparked reaction from the UK-based Daily Mail, who reports there is a possibility that the FBI or Justice Department may have been either openly or secretly monitoring Comey’s calls. The Daily Mail had not yet received confirmation on the matter from the DOJ.
During an interview with NBC News Thursday, Trump described an exchange that occurred between himself and Comey, which he claimed was one of at least three conversations that took place–one over dinner and two over the phone.
He alleged that Comey explicitly told him that he was not the focus of any federal investigation. “He said it once at dinner and then he said it twice during phone calls,” Trump said.
Trump recalled asking him: “If it’s possible would you let me know, am I under investigation?” He claimed that Comey replied: “You are not under investigation.”
If it is in fact true that Comey told Trump he was clear of an investigations, it is extremely rare for a high-ranking federal law enforcement official to freely admit to anyone, even the U.S. president, whether they are being investigated.
Conflicting stories continue to surface from Comey’s camp, with an accusation that Trump demanded loyalty from him “twice” during their dinner at the White House last January. Sources later recounted to reporters that Comey declined to do so but he promised to always be honest with him.
Spicer rejected the idea that Trump asked Comey to pledge his loyalty. “I think the President wants loyalty to his country and to the rule of law,” he said.
Questions still remain about the legitimacy of the one-on-one conversations, though former associates of the axed FBI director recently admitted that Comey told them he was called to the White House for a private dinner with Trump on Jan. 27, one week after he became the new Commander in Chief, according to the New York Times.
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
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