'I don't have tapes of conversation with Comey'

'I don't have tapes of conversation with Comey'

President Donald Trump has declared that he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI Director James Comey.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday, a day before the deadline, that he did not know if there were recordings of his conversations with Comey, but he did not make or have any such recordings.

With a possibility of tapes, "I think his story may have changed", said the President suggesting his "not very stupid" move may have forced Comey to admit publicly what he had told Trump thrice privately that he personally was not under investigation. Trump disputed Comet's version of a January dinner during which Comey said Trump had asked for a pledge of loyalty.

President Trump and former House speaker Newt Gingrich have both now admitted, for all intents and purposes, that Trump's ruse about possible White House tapes was meant to influence James B. Comey's public comments.

While White House officials have said the firing was due to concerns about Comey's actions at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Trump told an interviewer the Russian Federation investigation was one of his concerns in taking the action.

And Vice President Pence, who up until now has largely kept himself out of the spreading scandal, has hired his own private lawyer, Richard Cullen of Richmond, Virginia.

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The inspectors were following up on previously unknown safety complaints from residents, she said. "It's totally insane . Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the same firm, Rydon, that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16.

But Trump also hinted that the tweet was meant to influence Comey's testimony before Congress regarding possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump cited this week's Republican victory in a special congressional election in the southeastern state of Georgia. "So you never know what's out there, but I didn't tape, and I don't have any tape and I didn't tape".

"If Gingrich's analysis of what was going on here is accurate and were to be accepted by a finder-of-fact, then this could definitely raise additional obstruction of justice concerns for Trump", said Peter Zeidenberg, a former longtime Justice Department prosecutor. At a press briefing Thursday, White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she was not aware of other recordings.

Mark Warner of Virginia, top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said the tweeting is an example of Trump's "willingness to just kind of make things up".

Still, the president believes his initial May 12 tweet was not ill-advised.

Asked if the president records any Oval Office conversations, Sanders replied: "Not that I'm aware of". The question is whether or not the White House will provide it - and if they don't, how these tweets will hold up to legal scrutiny in the ongoing investigation. With that said, according to sources close to the two men, as well as Comey's attorney, the friendship did not continue into their personal lives. Destroying them would be a crime. "I don't know how this serves the country's interests".

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