Secret Service says it has no audio tapes of Trump's conversations with James Comey

Another entity still may have recorded conversations between the President and former FBI Director James Comey


Alexandra Wilts
Washington DC
Monday 12 June 2017 21:03 BST
Comey on his conversations with Trump: "Lordy, I hope there are tapes"

The US Secret Service reportedly has no audio tapes from Donald Trump’s White House, but questions remain about whether another entity or person recorded conversations between the President and former FBI Director James Comey.

During a White House briefing, the President's press secretary, Sean Spicer, refused to confirm whether Mr Trump is in possession of such tapes.

“The President made clear in the Rose Garden last week that he would have an announcement shortly,” Mr Spicer said, referring to a press conference in which Mr Trump also told reporters “you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer” about the recordings.

The Secret Service, responding to a freedom of information request submitted by The Wall Street Journal, said it does not have any audio copies or transcripts of any tapes recorded within the White House.

The Secret Service has handled recording systems within the White House for past presidents, including presidents Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy, the Journal said.

“In response to your request, the Secret Service has conducted a reasonable search for responsive records,” the agency wrote. “It appears, from a review of Secret Service’s main indices, that there are no records pertaining to your request that are referenced in these indices.”

Mr Trump first suggested that he had tapes in a tweet about his ex-FBI chief Mr Comey, who he fired last month.

According to Mr Comey, the President during a private Oval Office meeting seemingly directed him to drop a criminal investigation into former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn.

Mr Flynn resigned in February after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with a Russian official.

At a hearing last week, Mr Comey said Mr Trump’s claim that there may be recordings of their conversations prompted him to reveal his own written account of their interaction.

In his opening statement to Congress, Mr Comey said the President told him: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Mr Trump has since told reporters that he did not say this to Mr Comey, causing observers to question which man they should believe.

Leaders of the House intelligence committee have written to White House lawyers to ask whether there are any records or memos of Mr Comey’s discussions with the President.

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