President Donald Trump does not have any tapes featuring his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, Trump said in a tweet Thursday.
Trump first suggested he had secret recordings in a tweet in May, days after he fired Comey. The FBI director had been leading the bureau’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
Trump had raised the possibility of tapes as a way “to ensure that Comey told the truth,” sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.
The president’s tweets end weeks of speculation over whether such tapes exist. Trump and his aides have rebuffed reporters’ questions about the claim, telling them he would make an announcement soon. In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he hoped the tapes existed.
The House Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating the potential Russia ties, sent a letter to the White House earlier this month requesting information on the tapes’ existence to be turned over by Friday.
There may not be tapes of Comey’s conversations with Trump, but the former FBI director says he kept a detailed written account of his conversations with the president, out of fear Trump might lie about the nature of their meetings.
“I knew that there might come a day that I would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself but to defend the FBI and our integrity as an institution, and the independence of our investigator function,” Comey testified on June 7, noting that he had not taken such action while serving under former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
During one of their private meetings, Trump reportedly asked Comey to end the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February amid investigations over his potential ties to Russia.
This story is developing, check back for more.