The Secret Service — which has handled audio recordings for other presidents — denied Monday that it had any tapes or transcripts of audio from the White House under President Donald Trump.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the recordings don’t exist. The Wall Street Journal cautioned readers not to jump to conclusions when it published the Secret Service’s response to the publication’s Freedom of Information Act request.
Trump suggested such tapes might exist when he tweeted on May 12, just after Comey’s firing:
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
Monday’s news added to the growing speculation surrounding whether tapes existed with recordings of Trump and former FBI Director James Comey’s conversations. If available, the tapes could either confirm or deny Comey’s claim that Trump pressured him regarding the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
During congressional testimony, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he hoped those tapes existed.