WASHINGTON - Mystery solved: No, President Trump doesn't have recordings of former 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," Trump said in a pair of tweets Thursday.
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
Trump did not explain why he made the suggestion that he secretly recorded conversations with his former FBI director in the first place.
Shortly after he fired Comey, Trump ignited a wave of speculation about recordings with an enigmatic May tweet saying that "James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Comey has said Trump's implied threat was the reason he shared information about contemporaneous notes he took on his talks with the president.
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 Trump pressed him to drop the inquiry into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Trump had consistently refused to say whether or not tapes actually exist.
House members running their own Russia investigations sent the White House a letter asking the White House to submit any tapes by June 23 – which is Friday.
The president made his disclosure a day before the deadline.
Comey himself may be disappointed by the new information, however. During congressional testimony this month, Comey welcomed the prospect of presidential recordings that he said would confirm his version of the conversations.
"Lordy, I hope there are tapes," Comey said.
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