Trump admits he has no tapes of James Comey
DONALD Trump says he did not make and does not have tapes of his conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey
"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," Mr Trump tweeted.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to further clarify Mr Trump's tweets at the daily press briefing.
With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
...whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
However, Mr Trump did not explain why he made the suggestion in the first place, which came in a tweet days after he fired Mr Comey.
"James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Mr Trump tweeted on May 12.
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
Mr Comey, who was running the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between associates of the president and Russians seeking to influence last year's election before he was fired on May 9, says Mr Trump pressed him to drop the inquiry into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
After the May 12 tweet, Mr Comey shared notes he made after meeting with Mr Trump through a friend who leaked them to The New York Times.
House members running their own Russia investigations sent the White House a letter asking the White House to submit any tapes by tomorrow.
When Mr Comey testified this month he welcomed the prospect of recordings which he said would back up his notes. "Lordy, I hope there are tapes," he said.
Following that testimony, Mr Trump said he would respond on whether there were recordings made but said: "Oh, you're going to be very disappointed, don't worry."
Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speculated that President Trump may not have taped the conversations he had with Mr Comey.
He said the president may have just been trying to scare Mr Comey after a New York Times report recounted the dinner between Mr Comey and Mr Trump in which the latter asked for loyalty.
"I think he was in his way instinctively trying to rattle Comey," Mr Gingrich said. "He's not a professional politician. He doesn't come back and think about Nixon and Watergate. His instinct is: 'I'll outbluff you.'"