…whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
The Washington Post reports: For the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who were demanding that Trump provide information by Friday about the tapes’ existence, his tweet does not settle the matter.
“We have to have an official statement; tweets aren’t official,” said Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), who is running the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Until they get that official response, Conaway said, he would not comment on whether a subpoena may still be issued.
He added that it was “good for to clarify” his position and that “you always take the president at his word — until it’s proven otherwise.”
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, also said the president’s tweet was not sufficient.
“We’d all like to believe that our president can be trusted when he says something; regrettably, though, he has repeatedly proved otherwise,” Schiff said. “If this is meant to constitute his answer to the House investigation, then it needs to be fully truthful. … If the president is being less than candid about this, I think we have very serious problems with the White House.”
Schiff said that even if he accepts the president’s assertion that the tapes do not exist, he has questions about “why he would have said the opposite to begin with.”
“Was this an effort to intimidate James B. Comey? Was this an effort to silence James B. Comey?” Schiff asked. “Those questions still need to be answered.”
Schiff said he will continue to ask witnesses who come before the committee if they are aware of the existence of tapes and said he will consult with Conaway before deciding whether a subpoena is still in order. [Continue reading…]