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How Trump’s Threatening Tweet about Secret Recordings Hurt Him

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s tweet that suggestion he recorded conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey appeared to be a desperate act of intimidation.

Trump’s tweet more than a month ago prompted speculation that the president secretly recorded Comey.

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” he tweeted.

Then on Thursday, Trump acknowledged he has no recordings of their conversations.

According to a timeline provided by Politifact, Comey’s decision to speak out about the conversations with Trump were inspired by the mention of recordings.

“I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night, because it didn’t dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might be a tape,” Comey said. “And my judgment was, I needed to get that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter … because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Then on June 8, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and said the existence of recordings would be a relief.

I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” he said.

“I hope there are, and I’ll consent to the release of them.”

The next day, congressional investigators ordered the disclosure of any recordings of conversations between Trump and Comey.

Trump responded that he would discuss the existence of tapes “over a ver short period of time. You are going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.”

A day before Trump was ordered to turn over the recordings, Trump denied having recordings.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” he tweeted.

But the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, D-Calif., isn’t satisfied.

“Did he seek to mislead the public?” Schiff said in a statement. “Was he trying to intimidate or silence James Comey? And if so, did he take other steps to discourage potential witnesses from speaking out?”


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