January 21, 2018

US House panel wants formal response from Trump on Comey tapes

26 June 2017, 02:01 | Felicia Parsons

The White House is letting President Donald Trump's tweet Thursday - asserting that he had not taped former FBI Director James Comey - stand as the President's official statement. So you never know what's out there, but I didn't tape and I don't have any tape and I didn't tape but when he found out that I you know that there may be tapes out there whether it's governmental tapes or anything else, who knows, uh I think his story may have changed.

President Trump fired Comey on May 9, and the Trump administration initially said it was because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 election.

He testified before a Senate committee that Mr Trump had asked him to drop a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

One day after saying he does not have tapes of private conversations with Comey, the president told Fox he always told a "straight story".

But Trump and Spicer's comments Friday went a step further, readily admitting that there was intent to influence Comey.

During the Fox interview, Mr Trump also questioned the impartiality of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe into Russia's meddling in the United States election and the possible collusion with the Trump campaign. There were no such tapes, and the president knew it all along.

President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington.

We live in perilous times - times that demand fidelity to first principles.

Trump also reiterated the sentiment he expressed via tweet on Thursday - that he did not make tapes of his and Comey's interactions.

Dean Richards: Was Gal Gadot underpaid?
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"They are also four good guys and are four friends of mine", Trump said.

The pattern has continued since his election.

By firing Comey, Trump landed himself in even more serious trouble. Trump's new argument is that Comey told the truth under oath, but only because the president - the strategic mastermind that he is - tricked him by publishing a deceptive tweet about tapes that don't exist.

In that respect, President Trump is under investigation by the FBI, which seeks to determine whether he attempted to influence a federal criminal investigation for a corrupt objective. "He was - he did admit that what I said was right".

Trump flirted with presidential runs in 1988 and 2000 before abandoning them.

"I don't know whether it was an unforced error or a tactic, but it could have been both: a tactic that turned out to be an unforced error", Dershowitz said.

Trump's tweets, old and new, left many perplexed about whether there was motive or strategy behind the whole affair.

Huckabee Sanders and the press office intensified the Wonderland atmospherics at the White House when they refused to let her appearance be shown on video and then described an announcement of this refusal as "NONREPORTABLE".

No tapes were ever uncovered, but Comey later revealed during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he orchestrated the release of a memo that detailed conversations between him and the president. Columbia law school professor Daniel Richman, another friend of Comey's, shared the document with The Times after being provided a copy by the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief.

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