President Trump's maybe-nonexistent White House tapes, explained

Cheryl Sanders
June 17, 2017

Those facts provide plenty of loopholes for the president to secretly record his conversations.

The revelation was made in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Wall Street Journal that asked for any copies of transcripts of White House tapes.

"It appears, from a review of Secret Service's main indices, that there are not records pertaining to your request", the agency told the Journal in a letter. This however does not rule out other entities having them.

The White House refused Monday to divulge any new details about President Trump's promise to address questions about whether there were audio recordings of his conversations with then-FBI Director James B. Comey.

The mystery surrounding the alleged tapes was thrown back into the public eye during last week's Congressional testimony with Comey, as the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief told lawmakers in response to their questioning that he had hoped there are tapes of their White House conversation.


The Secret Service handled recording systems within the White House for past presidents, including Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.

It said any recordings normally would be governed by the Presidential Records Act, and would be handed over to the National Archives upon completion of the president's term.

Former FBI Director details meetings with Trump. I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time.

It's been a month since Trump first suggested he had recordings of his private conversations with James Comey that might contradict the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's version of events surrounding his firing.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday an announcement would come "when the president is ready to make it".


The tapes, if they existed would prove Comey's assertions, forming the basis of an obstruction of justice case against Trump, which if proven could lead to an eventual impeachment.

Comey suggested in his high-profile Senate testimony last week that any recordings would back up his account over the president's, adding, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes".

"I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the near future", Trump said at a press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday.

"Oh, you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don't worry", said Trump.


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