President Donald Trump said Thursday he does not have any “tapes” of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey, ending more than a month of speculation that the president had recorded their private conversations.
“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,” Trump tweeted just before 1 p.m. on Thursday.
With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
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...whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
In an off-camera briefing with reporters, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment further on the matter.
“The president’s statement via Twitter today is extremely clear,” she said, according to Bloomberg. “I don’t have anything to add.”
It was the president himself who stirred up the idea that audio recordings could exist.
“James B. Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Trump tweeted on May 12 in an apparent attempt to intimidate Comey after he fired him.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The threat came just one day after details emerged in a New York Times article of a one-on-one meeting he had with Comey where he allegedly asked the FBI director to pledge his loyalty and lay off an investigation into disgraced ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
And Trump has kept the rumor mill churning ever since.
Comey admitted to leaking his personal notes on his meetings with the president following his firing.
In a June 9 news conference, Trump played coy with reporters when asked whether or not the tapes existed, telling reporters they would have to wait a "very short period of time" to find out.
“Oh, you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer,” Trump said. “Don't worry.”
Comey will no doubt be disappointed in the revelation that there aren’t any recordings of his conversations with the president after all.
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey had said during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.