Trump admits he has no tapes of Comey

  • 23/06/2017
Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Photo credit: Getty

US President Donald Trump has said he did not make and does not possess any tapes of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey.

It lays to rest speculation that arose after he tweeted last month that Mr Comey better hope there were no tapes.

"With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

The comments come a few hours after he called claims his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election a "big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election".

"By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?" he wrote.

Mr Comey took detailed notes of his meetings with the President, who is under investigation for obstruction of justice over his firing of the former FBI director.

Intel officials asked to deny Russia collusion

Two top US intelligence officials have told investigators Mr Trump suggested they publicly deny any collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, but they did not feel he had ordered them to do so, CNN reported on Thursday, citing multiple sources.

Director of national intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency director Admiral Mike Rogers met separately last week with investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate intelligence committee, according to CNN.

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

Representatives for the White House have previously directed any queries about the Russia investigation to Mr Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. A spokesman for Kasowitz did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Representatives for Mr Mueller's office could not be immediately reached for comment. Representatives for Mr Coats, Mr Rogers, and the Senate intelligence panel's Republican Chairman Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner had no comment.

Mr Mueller's team and the panel, along with several other congressional committees, are probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. The Kremlin has denied US intelligence agencies' conclusion that Moscow tried to tilt the election campaign in Mr Trump's favour, using such means as hacking into the emails of senior Democrats.

Mr Trump, a Republican, has denied any collusion and has variously said Russia might or might not have been responsible for hacking.

Mr Coats and Mr Rogers told the Senate committee at a June 7 public hearing that they could not comment on their conversations with Trump because they believed them to be confidential. They provided no legal basis for their position.

Their refusals exasperated both Republican and Democratic senators on the panel. Mr Coats and Mr Rogers later met with the Senate intelligence panel behind closed doors.

In May, the Washington Post reported that Mr Trump had urged Mr Coats and Mr Rogers to publicly deny there was any evidence of collusion but that they refused to comply with what they believed were inappropriate requests.

Mr Comey accused Mr Trump of firing him to try to undermine the agency's Russia investigation. He told the Senate panel this month he was so unsettled by his interactions with Mr Trump that he immediately documented them in detailed memos.

Reuters / Newshub.