President Trump claimed on Friday that he would have an answer on whether or not recordings existed of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey in the near future, but that people would be “very disappointed.”
“I’ll tell you something about that maybe in the very near future,” said Trump when asked if any recordings of his conversations exist at a joint press conference with the president of Romania.
Trump was again asked about the potential for recordings later in the press conference.
“When will you tell us about the recordings?” asked ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.
“Over a very short period of time.”
“You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry,” said Trump when asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta why he couldn’t answer the question.
“So I thought that was interesting,” said Acosta on CNN following the press conference. “[That answer] was an indication, and it really is something that you can only read here in the Rose Garden, that he is sort of saying here that there aren’t any recordings.”
The idea of recordings potentially existing came from Trump himself. The president tweeted a veiled threat at Comey days after he fired him, writing, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
The existence of recordings of the conversations has become more important now that Trump and Comey are at odds on key points of the narrative. Comey said that the president asked him for a loyalty pledge and that he said he “hoped” he could let the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn go because he’s a good guy, while Trump denies he said either.
Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that she didn’t know whether or not recordings existed but that she would “try to look under the couches.” She also said that the president was not a liar.
The president said Friday afternoon that he would discuss his conversations with Comey under oath with special counsel Robert Mueller.
For his part, Comey said Thursday that he hopes the tapes exist.
“I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” the fired FBI director said.
Comey also said he believes Trump terminated him because of the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump campaign associates colluded with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
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