During an interview with Fox & Friends (a favorite morning program of Trump’s) he reasserted his Thursday admission that he never taped Comey despite threatening him with the existence of tapes in a tweet sent out shortly after he fired the FBI Director.
Trump also took the time to sow seeds of suspicion regarding former President Barack Obama’s surveillance programs before going into his rationale for bluffing about possessing tapes.
When Fox & Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt asked Trump why he wanted Comey to believe he had tapes of their conversations, Trump began a long, rambling response.
“I don’t have any tape and I didn’t tape,” Trump said. “But when [Comey] found out that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed.”
“My story was always a straight story. My story was always the truth, but you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. But I did not tape.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) June 23, 2017
Earhardt said Trump’s ruse was a “smart way” of keeping Comey “honest” in the hearings, despite the fact that during his testimony, Comey repeatedly said he hoped any tapes of conversations between him and the president would be released, as it would back up his version of what occurred.
“It wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that,” Trump responded.
Before Trump’s interview, Fox & Friends opined about Comey’s intentions by sharing recent photos taken of the former FBI Director outside of the New York Times building.
There was a charity event being held in the building at the time, and despite New York Times reporter Maggie Habermann confirming Comey didn’t visit with the Times’ newsroom—Fox & Friends decided to speculate wildly about the reason Comey was there.
“Wonder what James Comey was doing at the New York Times. It’s so odd,” one host said.
Host Steve Doocy then added: “Why would he go right in the front door?”
Earhardt, who conducted the interview with Trump, then said Comey was “not even trying to hide.”
The existence of tapes has been the subject of speculation for weeks since Trump’s initial not-so-subtle threat he tweeted at Comey in May. Since firing Comey, calls for investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing the head of an agency investigating members of his administration have come from both sides of the aisle.