Trump reiterates "I didn't tape" James Comey

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 24, 2017

Trump said in a clip from an interview that aired on Fox News on Friday.

Asked if he was trying to keep Mr Comey honest, Mr Trump added: 'It wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that. Comey was sacked by Trump three days before the tweet and had not yet gone public with any account of his firing. Trump has disputed Comey's version of a January dinner during which, according to Comey, the president asked for a pledge of loyalty.

"James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" the president wrote on May 12.

At the hearing, Comey told the committee "Lordy, I hope there are tapes", giving the President the go-ahead to release the tapes.

The president also raised questions about the impartiality of Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director who was named special counsel after Mr. Comey was sacked.

Comey was leading the investigation into allegations Russian Federation tried to sway the election toward Trump and the possibility Trump associates colluded with Moscow when the president fired him on May 9, sparking a political firestorm.

Mr. Trump repeatedly refused to say whether he believed Mr. Mueller would have to recuse himself from the inquiry.

Trump had originally raised the possibility on Twitter that he might have tapes of his discussions with Comey.

President Donald Trump has declared that he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI Director James Comey. Meanwhile, Trump's comment about the "bothersome" Comey and Mueller are causing social media commenters even more concern about investigative interference. Investigators will also weigh the credibility of Comey against a president who has shown a wobbly commitment to accuracy.

Trump's tweets, old and new, left many perplexed about whether there was motive or strategy behind the whole affair. "I think his story may have changed", Trump said. "He's not a professional politician". And you read all about it and I've been reading about it the last couple of months, the seriousness of the - and disgusting situation with surveillance all over the place.

In the immediate term, all this craziness may well divert the nation from revelations of the Senate's heretofore secret health care legislation and the fact that it would do grievous harm to Donald Trump's own promise to leave the Medicaid system intact.

But the episode exhausted Trump's defenders and aides, who for weeks have been dodging questions about the recordings. But the White House and the president repeatedly declined to give a direct answer.

The overall goal of the tweets, she admitted, was to "raise the question of doubt in general" about the accuracy of Comey's testimony. She also could not explain Trump's new reference to possible surveillance.

Trump and the White House went six weeks neither confirming nor denying the existence of any tapes. "You never know what's happening when you see what the Obama administration - and perhaps longer than that - was doing all of this unmasking and surveillance and you read all about it and I've been reading about it for the last couple of months, about the seriousness of the - and terrible situation with surveillance all over the place", said Mr Trump. He said the tweeting is an example of Trump's "willingness to just kind of make things up". "I don't know how this serves the country's interests".

This is not the first time that Trump has suggested he has been surveilled without providing evidence.

The two officials said they were surprised at Trump's suggestion and found their interactions with him odd and uncomfortable, but they did not act on the president's requests, CNN reported, citing sources familiar with their accounts.

Although Mr Trump has made no secret of his desire to have greater links with Russian Federation - and even shared highly-sensitive "codeword" material with them last month - he has adamantly denied any collusion to alter the result of the election.

In March, Trump tweeted that he had been wiretapped by Obama prior to the election.

Lawmakers investigating allegations of Russian interference in the USA election had asked the White House for any such recordings.

"He did admit that what I said was right", Trump said of Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

The problem for Trump, when it came to Comey, was that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director couldn't be bluffed. Mueller was reportedly chosen for the special prosecutor position because of his history of practiced neutrality, meaning it doesn't matter much what Trump knows or thinks about Mueller's team's political affiliations.

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