WASHINGTON, June 13, 2017 ⏤ The U.S. Secret Service has said they have no copies of any White House tapes, rejecting claims that President Trump has made recordings of conversations he has had with former FBI Director James Comey. This announcement comes after the Wall Street Journal filed a Freedom of Information Act for transcripts of any Trump White House recordings.
Last month Trump tweeted out the possibility of recorded conversations with Comey. “Comey better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.” The Wall Street Journal says that while the Secret Service has no “tapes,” that doesn’t mean some other entity did not make recordings.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dodged questions about the issue but responded, the “president made clear in the Rose Garden last week that he would have an announcement shortly.” Spicer said the statement would be released “when the president’s ready to make it.”
The recordings referred to would cover conversations Trump had with Comey when he asked him for a loyalty pledge and allegedly requested that Comey end the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The Secret Service have handled recording systems for previous presidents. The tapes have become a center point in the ongoing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The Secret Service have handled recording systems for previous presidents. The tapes have become a center point in the ongoing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Comey claimed that possible recordings of his conversation would support his testimony over the President’s. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week she wasn’t aware of whether the White House had any kind of taping system.
Trump himself has also refused to make any definitive statement on the existence of tapes, saying Friday that reporters would be “very disappointed” when he gives them his answer.
The existence of recordings would clear up any issues regarding the Comey firing and whether Trump attempted to influence Comey to act a certain way. The last president to be known for recording Oval Office meetings was Richard Nixon. His recordings famously led to a huge mess.