President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday morning to seemingly threaten former FBI Director James Comey with tapes of their conversations — and Washington, D.C., was thrown into an uproar.
In a series of early morning tweets, the president wrote that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1494591975.0
Trump has claimed that Comey informed him on three separate occasions that he is not the subject of an FBI investigation. The bureau is investigating Russia’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an interview this week that he “actually asked" Comey if he was under investigation.
"I said, if it's possible would you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, 'You are not under investigation,' ” Trump said, claiming that Comey told him the same thing once during a dinner and then again on two separate phone calls.
Trump’s tweet raised questions about whether or not his discussions with Comey were in fact recorded — and what Comey said to Trump during those conversations.
On Friday, NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian tweeted that a source close to Comey told him that “He hopes there are tapes. That would be perfect.”
A source close to Comey told me this morning: “He hopes there are tapes. That would be perfect.”— Ken Dilanian (@Ken Dilanian)1494608563.0
During his Friday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to a peppering of questions about the alleged tapes, and said that the tweet is “not a threat” and that it “speaks for itself.” He neither confirmed nor denied the existence of tapes of the conversation.
Top House Democrats promptly asked for copies of the tapes. In a letter sent to White House counsel Don McGahn on Friday, Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote:
Under normal circumstances, we would not consider credible any claims that the White House may have taped conversations of meetings with the President. However, because of the many false statements made by White House officials this week, we are compelled to ask whether any such recordings do in fact exist. If so, we request copies of all recordings in possession of the White House regarding this matter.
WikiLeaks — the organization that infamously released emails associated with the Clinton campaign last year — has offered a $100,000 reward for tapes of conversations between Trump and Comey.
WikiLeaks offers US$100k for the Trump-Comey tapes. To increase the reward send Bitcoin to reward address: 1FfzC3Kr… https://t.co/gSgFsiV7y8— WikiLeaks (@WikiLeaks)1494611256.0