Except, this time, it appears to be a threat.
Early Friday morning, Trump tweeted that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Trump is presumably referring to an op-ed by Brent Budowsky published by the Hill on Thursday afternoon. Budowsky argues that federal investigators likely have what he calls the “Trump tapes,” recorded conversations between Trump associates and foreign targets. Of course, it’s also possible Trump is just throwing out the possibility that Comey recorded him.
One president who used to keep recordings of his conversations with officials was Richard Nixon, whom many Democratic members of Congress compared Trump to after his surprise firing of Comey (who was the head of the agency investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia).
Nixon fired a special prosecutor investigating his role in the Watergate scandal. While many Congressional leaders felt compelled to make the compassion, the Nixon Library didn’t think they were close enough to draw a connection.
Trump has been trying to paint Comey in a bad light since firing him on Tuesday. During an interview with NBC News on Thursday night, Trump called the former FBI Director a “showboat” and “grandstander” before detailing his alleged conversations where he was told he wasn’t under investigation.
Members of Trump’s administration also said part of the reasoning for Comey’s ouster was because the “rank-and-file” members of the FBI had lost confidence in him. This reasoning was refuted by Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday.
As of Friday morning, there has yet to be any kind of response from Comey.