WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump said he was “100 percent” willing to testify under oath about his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, who claims the president inappropriately pressured him to drop an investigation.
“One-hundred percent, under oath,” Trump said Friday in response to a reporter’s question.
Comey testified under oath on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump tried to pressure him into dropping the FBI probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s Russian contacts. Trump claimed some of Comey’s statements vindicated him, and some of them were untrue.
Trump also said he was willing to speak with Robert Mueller, the Justice Department special counsel now heading the investigation of the Russia case.
Whether Trump will actually submit to Mueller’s questions or testify under oath remains a big question. He has made similar assertions before without following through. Still, Trump’s statements gave ammunition to Democrats and political opponents, who will now press the president to do what he said he would.
One way to help resolve the matter would be for Trump to release the “tapes” he suggested he has of conversations with Comey. The former FBI director said Thursday that he hoped Trump would release recordings ― but the president still won’t say whether they exist.
“I’ll tell you about that in the very near future,” Trump said. “Meantime, no collusion, no obstruction obstruction, he’s a leaker.”
Trump later said in response to another question about tapes: “You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.”
Trump fired Comey in May, ostensibly on the recommendation of a deputy attorney general, who said Comey had mishandled the Hillary Clinton email case ― something Trump had previously praised. The Trump administration also claimed the FBI was in disarray.
“Those were lies, plain and simple, and I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them,” Comey testified Thursday.
Comey added that he believed the president when Trump said later in May that he fired Comey because he was angry about the Russia investigation.
Comey said it will be up to Mueller to determine whether Trump’s interference amounts to obstruction of justice.
On Friday afternoon, a panel of lawmakers investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election asked White House counsel Don McGahn to hand over any tape recordings that may exist.
This article has been updated to include the request for White House tapes.