Trump admits he did not record Comey conversations
US President Donald Trump says he did not make and does not possess any tapes of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey, laying to rest speculation that began after he tweeted on May 13, "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!."
Mr Trump posted to Twitter overnight: "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."
Mr Comey called the president's bluff during his June 9 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying: "Lordy, I hope there are tapes" and "Release all the tapes – I’m good with it.”
The existence of a recording would certainly help clarify whether Mr Trump attempted to obstruct justice during a series of one-on-one meetings between the two men that culminated in Mr Comey's sacking.
Now, it's a case of one man's word against the other.
In that context, it's arguably not optimal for Mr Trump to have admitted he fibbed, or at least raised a false prospect, in his May 13 tweet.Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee and House Judiciary Committee investigations into alleged Russian election meddling are continuing.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is still within the two-month timeframe set to finalise his independent team to conduct his own investigation, which may include deposing the president.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has continued to stoke suspicion about the special counsel.
"He’s very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome," the president says in an interview with Fox News, yet to be screened but previewed in transcript.
However, the president stopped short of saying Mr Mueller should be recused.