White House

Trump: I didn't tape James Comey conversations

Cody Derespina

President Trump tweeted on Thursday "I did not make, and do not have" any recordings of conversations with ex-FBI Director James Comey, ending speculation -- that he started -- about whether he had taped private talks with the since-fired Comey.

"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 wrote in a pair of tweets.

Bloomberg broke the news that Trump didn't have any tapes just minutes before Trump tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

Trump jumpstarted questions about whether he had tapes when he tweeted a warning on May 12 to Comey, whom Trump suspected of leaking info to the press after his May 9 firing regarding private conversations between Comey and Trump.

"James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" wrote Trump, who has disputed some of the details in Comey's version of their one-on-one encounters.

Comey -- who wrote memos of his talks with Trump -- later testified he didn't know anything about recordings but was eager to hear them if they existed.

The White House declined to provide further insight into Trump's original tweet and spokespeople wouldn't confirm or deny the presence of any recording equipment in the Oval Office.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who serves as the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted earlier Thursday that Trump was due to reveal the answer to the mysterious "tapes" question by the following day.

"Deadline to turn over any tapes of Comey conversations to House Intel – if they exist – is Friday. Time is running out for WH to comply," Schiff wrote.

A few hours later, Trump confirmed there was nothing to hand over.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's tweets were "extremely clear" and there was nothing to add.

Asked if Trump intended to threaten Comey with his original tweet about "tapes," Sanders said: "Not that I'm aware of. I don't think so."

Former President Richard Nixon infamously recorded many of his Oval Office encounters -- which came into play during the downfall of his presidency. Few presidents since are known to have recorded many, if any, of their White House encounters.