Donald Trump has announced that he would “100 percent” testify under oath about his interactions with sacked FBI chief James Comey, but refused to confirm whether recordings exist of the pair’s conversations.
The day after the Comey’s hearing on Capitol Hill, the president stood firm on his position while fielding questions at the White House rose garden.
“No collusion, no obstruction, he’s a leaker,” Trump said on Friday. “We were very, very happy, and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things that he said just weren’t true.”
“I hardly know the man. I’m not going to say, ‘I want you to pledge allegiance.’ Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? Think of it: I hardly know the man, it doesn’t make sense. No, I didn’t say that, and I didn’t say the other,” he responded to a question over whether he had sought a pledge of loyalty from Comey.
The White House spin doctors went into overdrive on Thursday as Comey’s under oath testimony to Congress, in which he talked of Trump’s “chilling effect” on FBI investigations, got under way.
One thing they appeared to cling on to is the revelation that the former FBI director had passed on some of his personal memos to be published after his sacking.
A Republican close to Trump said the president felt very good about Comey’s statement that the former FBI director had told him he was not under investigation.
The more pressing question for those investigating Trump and Comey’s fallout is whether any tapes exist of conversations between them.
Trump frustrated many reporters by refusing to confirm whether or not such recordings exist.
“I’ll tell you about that maybe some time in the very near future,” he said, but amended this to “a short period of time” after journalists protested.
He tweeted in May: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Comey has said he would be happy for any tapes of conversations he had with Trump to be released.