No 'tapes' of Comey conversations


Trump said Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has a "very bothersome" close relationship with James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director that Trump fired. My story was always a straight story.

"I think he was in his way instinctively trying to rattle Comey", former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump confidant, said before the Thursday tweets.

Mr Mueller's team is now reportedly investigating whether Mr Trump attempted to obstruct justice in his comments to Mr Comey about the FBI's investigation, and whether he furthered that attempted obstruction by firing the former FBI chief.

In a May 12 tweet, Trump sent a veiled warning to Comey over Twitter, writing: "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!".

Comey also told the senators that Trump never mentioned Flynn again after that initial conversation.

Comey confirmed those conversations one day before his Senate hearing when he released his opening statement.

"The president said, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.' I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed", said Comey in a written statement submitted to the committee.

Trump's tweets, old and new, left many perplexed about whether there was motive or strategy behind the whole affair.

Mr Trump criticised Mr Mueller for having appointed "all Hillary Clinton supporters" to his staff for the investigation.

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The president did not, however, say what may have changed, only saying that investigative reporting may uncover more.

During the course of the interview, Trump wrongly implied that he and his Administration have relayed a consistent rationale for why Trump fired Comey, when in fact officials, including Trump, have offered shifting explanations. The President did say, however, that Mr Mueller is an "honourable man".

"I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meetings, so I thought it important to document", Comey said.

Trump, who spoke to the network Thursday at the White House, touted the recent Republican victory in a Georgia special election.

The president has reportedly been considering firing Mueller, according to Trump friend Chris Ruddy, despite widespread opposition.

While White House officials have said the firing was due to concerns about Comey's actions at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Trump told an interviewer the Russian Federation investigation was one of his concerns in taking the action. It appears that Trump's description of the two as "very, very good friends" isn't rooted in reality.

Under a post-Watergate law, presidential recordings belong to the people and eventually can be made public.

The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating the extent of Russian hacking and influence on the 2016 election, asked the White House counsel on June 9th about the existence of any such tapes and said the White House had until June 23rd to respond.