President Donald Trump on Friday shed new light on why he apparently bluffed about having recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, suggesting for the first time that a Twitter post about “tapes” was meant to influence Comney’s public comments about his firing.
In the interview that aired Friday morning on Fox News, Trump indicated that, by threatening to release recordings of their encounters, he was trying to make sure Comey was honest about what they had discussed. He seemed to be referring in particular to the fact that he had wanted Comey to publicly say he was not personally under FBI investigation, which Comey did indeed confirm in congressional testimony after Trump’s tweet suggesting he had tapes. Trump conceded on Thursday that he doesn’t have any such recordings.
During the course of the interview, Trump wrongly implied that he and his Administration have relayed a consistent rationale for why Trump fired Comey, when in fact officials, including Trump, have offered shifting explanations. He also implied Comey’s story changed following Trump’s tweet, but it’s not clear what he would be referring to, as Comey has been consistent in his public remarks.
Here’s exactly what Trump said: