President Trump on James Comey, Tape Recordings, and Robert Mueller

 

President Trump spoke for the first time about a tweet last month that raised the possibility that recordings existed of his conversations with James Comey.

After asking First Lady Melania Trump about her move to the White House with son Barron, Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt turned to the President asking why he possibly wanted Comey to believe that there were recordings.

Trump reiterated what he said in a pair of tweets issued yesterday that revealed that he personally did not have “any such recording”, and again pointed out that with all the surveillance that he and his associates have been under by government intelligence agencies, that the possibility existed (and still exists) that covert recordings of his conversations may be “out there”.

The president then suggested that the possibility of recordings motivated Comey to affirm in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had told the President on three separate occasions that he was not the target of any FBI investigation. Trump had previously made this assertion in his termination letter to Comey. It was only after the President raised the possibility of recordings that Comey was willing to confirm that he had indeed told the President several times that he was not under investigation.

Earhardt asked whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller should recuse himself, based on his close relationship with his protégée, the former FBI director. Comey is not only a witness, but also a possible target for leaking privileged communications to media outlets.

Trump said Mueller’s friendship with Comey “is very bothersome”, and noted that many of the attorneys Mueller has hired to assist in his investigation are HIllary Clinton’s former employees, donors, and supporters. “Robert Mueller is an honorable man”, the President said, “and hopefully he’ll come up with an honorable solution”, indicating that the President believes Mueller is facing personal conflict of interests, where recusal might be that “honorable solution”.

In on-air analysis after the interview segment, Fox News reporter Ed Henry responded to allegations being made by Trump critics that the President had in engaged in a form of witness intimidation by raising the possibility of recordings. Henry asked rhetorically, “What’s wrong with saying you better tell the truth?”

 

 

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