President Donald Trump has said he will make an announcement this week pertaining to his claims that there are taped recordings of conversations between himself and former FBI Director James Comey, Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced at a Tuesday press conference.
In a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by The Wall Street Journal in May, the Secret Service said it doesn’t have any audio copies or transcripts of conversations from inside the White House.
Trump told reporters during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden earlier this month that he’d reveal the truth about whether the rumored "Comey tape" exists in “the very near future.” The president cryptically added “Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.”
"The president has said that he will make an announcement on this. I expect it this week," Spicer said at Tuesday’s news briefing, Spicer’s first briefing in eight days.
Trump first alluded to the possible existence of tapes in a tweet published several days after he fired Comey, the Hill noted.
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
According to the Hill, lawmakers have since called for Trump to say whether such tapes exist, and if so, to release them as part of ongoing investigations.
When asked about the existence of tapes during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, Comey famously replied “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
Comey said Trump’s tweet about the tapes persuaded him to leak details about his meetings with Trump to the media. Trump quickly lambasted him for this disclosure, accusing him of being a “leaker,” and questioning the legality of his decision.
Comey said his aim in leaking the details of their discussion was to get a special prosecutor appointed to handle the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump administration officials, the Hill noted.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the White House is weighing "whether to move Press Secretary Sean Spicer into a more senior role focused on strategy" and bring in a new spokesman for the president, two people familiar with the discussions said. The announcement caused the gambling odds of Spicer finishing out the year to collapse.
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