The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Friday that if President Donald Trump has tapes of his conversations with ousted FBI Director James Comey, he should turn them over to Congress.
The statement Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) came after Trump tweeted that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” The tweet followed a New York Times story in which sources close to Comey said Trump had asked him over dinner to pledge loyalty to the president and that Comey declined.
“If the President has ‘tapes’ of his conversations with Director Comey, it is because the president himself made them,” Schiff said in a statement. “For a President who baselessly accused his predecessor of illegally wiretapping him, that Mr. Trump would suggest that he, himself, may have engaged in such conduct is staggering.
“The president should immediately provide any such recordings to Congress or admit, once again, to have made a deliberately misleading — and in this case threatening — statement,” Schiff added.
Schiff, whose committee is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, also took aim at the contradictory statements from the White House about Trump’s motivation for Tuesday’s firing of Comey.
“With respect to the president’s suggestion that as a very busy person, he doesn’t have time to ensure that his spokespeople are accurately portraying his actions — it is difficult to know how to respond — except to say, being truthful with the American people is a core responsibility of the job,” Schiff said. “If he did not want to willingly undertake even the minimal requirements of the presidency, it would have been far better for him to have considered that before he chose to run for the highest office in the land.”