Trump acknowledged Thursday that he had not recorded his conversations with James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired amid the Justice Department’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
His early morning tweet confirmed the suspicions of outsiders that Trump had been leveling a baseless threat at Comey on May 12, when he wrote, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
This month, Comey testified in detail about those conversations, saying that Trump had appealed to him on multiple occasions not to pursue an investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his alleged links to Russian officials.
Asked during the Senate hearing whether he worried about the existence of tapes, Comey famously replied, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
I didn’t watch the Comey hearings, but here are selected headlines from different major media outlets:
New York Times – Comey Says Trump Tried to Derail Inquiry and Accuses the White House of ‘Lies’
New York Times – ‘Lordy, I Hope There Are Tapes’ – Mr. Comey’s quote of the day, and other crucial moments from the hearing.
Washington Post – Comey says he shared notes in hopes of a special counsel – The revelation shows the degree of concern James Comey had about both Russian interference with U.S. politics and his doubts about the Justice Department’s ability to probe such activity.
USA Today – Comey maps possible obstruction case against Trump
CBS News – Defining obstruction of justice after Comey’s testimony
ABC News – ANALYSIS: Comey goes nuclear in showdown with Trump
NBC News – Comey Under Oath: Trump Admin. Lied About My Firing
Newseek – WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO TRUMP?
How the Comey testimony strengthens the obstruction of justice case against the president.
Vanity Fair – As Comey Testifies, Trump Appeals to God
For now, only Trump’s lawyer is answering his prayer
And then there is Fox News, with this small headline, below the fold – Gregg Jarrett: Comey exonerates Trump – so much for obstruction
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Sunday for President Trump to either prove his claim that President Barack Obama tapped the phones in Trump Tower during last year’s election campaign or drop the accusation.
“The president has one of two choices, either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve,” McCain said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute.”
Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) also formally requested the information last week in a letter to FBI Director James B. Comey and acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente. Trump administration officials have not provided any evidence to back up the president’s claim from earlier this month.
“If the allegation is left out there, it undermines the confidence the American people have in the entire way that the government does business,” McCain said.