President Donald Trump once again dodged a question as to whether he taped conversations with FBI Director James Comey, as he had suggested in a tweet shortly after sacking him.
“Well, I will tell you about that, sometime in the very near future,” Trump sidestepped when a reporter directly asked him, during a Rose Garden news conference, whether the tapes actually exist .
Trump said he would be happy to testify under oath that he had not told Comey he expected loyalty from him, and had not pressed Comey to end the FBI’s investigation of former National Security advisor Michael Flynn. Comey had asserted both claims, when testifying under oath on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 political election and possible Trump team collusion.
“I hardly know the man; I’m not going to say, ‘I want you to pledge allegiance. Who would do that; it hardly makes sense,” Trump said dismissively of Comey.
Addressing the questions at a joint presser with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, reporters noted Trump was “hinting” the tapes exist. “I’m not hinting anything. I’ll tell you over a very short period of time,” he said – suggesting he’s maybe going to give an exclusive interview to Fox News Channel on the subject.
When reporters kept shouting questions about the tapes, Trump shot back, “Oh you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.”
(Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters, as to when they will have an answer on Trump tapes: “When he’s ready. Just watch the helicopter.”)
Taking questions at the White House, the President of the United States said, to the world, “Should I take one of the killer networks, that treat me so badly, as fake news?”
Asked why he tweeted earlier today he felt “completely vindicated” by Comey’s testimony, Trump responded: “No collusion, no obstruction; he’s a leaker.” And, once again Trump said the FBI’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 was “just an excuse” for the Dems having lost the election. “So that was just an excuse.”
Trump stands alone in that assertion; all U.S. intelligence agencies, Comey, and even many Republicans, agree Russians did meddle in the election.
“We were very happy,” Trump said in the Rose Garden about Comey’s testimony, adding, “Frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things he said just weren’t true.”
Those were Trump’s first public remarks about Comey’s Thursday testimony before the Senate committee.
Earlier on Friday, Trump, via Twitter, accused Comey of lying under oath and leaking details of a conversation about which Trump had threatened there might be tapes.
This after Comey, under oath, testified Trump directed him to shut down the bureau’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, then sacked him to derail the bureau’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
During his under-oath testimony, Comey’s “Lordy! I hope there are tapes” tore through the Internet, with the inevitable T-shirts following, and Comey then dared Trump to release the tapes: “The President surely knows if there are tapes. If there are, my feelings aren’t hurt. Release the tapes.”
After Comey’s testimony, Trump’s lawyer called Comey a leaky liar, but stopped there, which pundits took to suggest there are no tapes. Comey testified he had made arrangements for the leak of his conversation with Trump after Trump tweeted a threat to Comey about recordings of their conversations.