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Trump Says He May Soon Reveal Whether Tapes Exist of Comey Conversations

Variety logo Variety 6/9/2017 Ted Johnson
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President Donald Trump declined to say whether there are recorded conversations of his meetings with James Comey, the FBI director he fired, telling reporters that he may reveal whether such tapes exist “in the very near future.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers are asking the White House to turn over any taped conversations between Trump and Comey. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who are leading the House Intelligence Committee investigation on Russian interference into the 2016 election, wrote to White House counsel Don McGahn to request the tapes, and gave a deadline of June 23.

Trump had raised the possibility that his conversations with Comey were recorded in a May 12 tweet he sent several days after he fired him.

Trump, in his first press conference since Comey’s congressional testimony on Thursday, also reiterated that he felt vindicated by what was said.

“No collusion, no obstruction. He’s a leaker,” he said of Comey. He accused Comey of saying things that “just weren’t true.”

Comey himself called Trump and his administration “liars,” for their claims that he was fired for his performance and low morale at the FBI. He testified that Trump invited him to a private dinner at the White House on Jan. 27, where the president said, “I need loyalty.”

Trump, however, insisted that he never asked Comey for his loyalty, as Comey stated under oath in his congressional testimony. When Trump was asked whether he himself would be willing to testify under oath, he said “100%.”

He also denied that Comey’s version of the events of a Feb. 14 meeting, in which Trump said that he “hoped” that the FBI director could let go of an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump said that he “did not say that,” but “there would be nothing wrong if I had.”

As he has before, Trump continued to blast mainstream news outlets. Before he called on ABC News’ Jon Karl, he described the press gallery as the “killer networks that treat me so badly,” and again invoked the phrase “fake news.”

Trump was appearing in a Rose Garden press conference along with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

But Trump continued to tease whether there were recordings of his conversations with Comey. He told reporters that he would tell them that “maybe sometime in the very near future.”

“You are going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer,” he said a bit cryptically.

Lawmakers also are asking that Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia, turn over memos that Comey took of his conversations with Trump. In his testimony, Comey said that after he was fired and Trump’s May 12 tweet, he gave the memos to Richman with the intent that they be leaked to the media.

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said at the hearing.

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