Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee have asked the White House to turn over audio recordings of President Trump’s conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
In a Friday letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn, panel members Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) set a June 23 deadline to provide such material, should it exist.
In the days which followed Comey’s May 9 dismissal, Mr. Trump fueled speculation audio recordings of their private White House conversations existed in a tweet delivered on May 12.
James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The request for the White House to provide any audio evidence followed Trump’s response to a reporter’s question over whether the “tapes” he referred to in his tweet actually exist during a press conference Friday alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
“I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the near future. You’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry,” Trump told journalists.
Two days following the president’s ambiguity, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told CNN’s State of the Union the president is obligated to resolve any confusion over the existence of recorded conversations Trump held with Comey.
“This is an issue that the president should have cleared up in his press conference. He should give a straight yes or no to the question of whether or not the tapes exist,” she said.
Collins also stated Trump should provide the Senate and the Special Counsel with any material related to ongoing congressional probes. Collins concluded her comments with her willingness to use the power of a subpoena to obtain recordings if they do in fact exist.
[Reuters] [Business Insider] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Mark Wilson via Salon]