25 June, 2017
The head of the U.S. House of Representatives' Russia investigation said on Friday he wanted a formal response from President Donald Trump to a request for records about conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.
Trump also reiterated the sentiment he expressed via tweet on Thursday - that he did not make tapes of his and Comey's interactions.
Trump told Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" that special counsel Robert Mueller is "very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome".
"I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters, some of them worked for Hillary Clinton", Trump said.
President Trump Friday pointed to a key concern even his opponents should have with the investigation into matters related to Russian Federation, which is that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is good friends with the star witness, James Comey.
While testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr Comey said he hoped there were tapes.
Mr Trump had earlier questioned Robert Mueller's integrity in an interview with Fox News.
Mr Trump criticised Mr Mueller for having appointed "all Hillary Clinton supporters" to his staff for the investigation.
"They are also four good guys and are four friends of mine", Trump said.
Mr Trump's initial Twitter missive about the possibility of tapes triggered a series of consequences, each weightier than the last. Comey has suggested that the tweet prompted him to ask an associate to release damaging information to The New York Times.
Trump's declaration now that there are no recordings appears to settle a key dynamic in that investigation: It's now the president's word against Comey's notes. Instead, they're claiming that thanks to Trump's tweet suggesting tapes of his conversations with Comey existed, the president Jedi mind-tricked the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director into telling the truth during his testimony. Investigators will also weigh the credibility of Comey against a president who has shown a wobbly commitment to accuracy.
Thursday's revelation came a day ahead of a deadline to turn over any tapes to the House intelligence committee.
In other comments in the full interview on Fox, which aired Friday morning, Trump reiterated how ineffective Democrats and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have been at winning elections.
A source told reporters that Trump confided to some of his aides that Comey was forced to tell the truth during his testimony due to the existence of the tapes. He offered to help rebuild the World Trade Center in 2004 but never followed through. So you never know what's out there, but I didn't tape and I don't have any tape, and I didn't tape. He never produced any evidence.
The overall investigation into Russia interference in last year's election includes pursuit of any links between Trump campaign associates and Russians responsible for hacking emails from Democrats close to nominee Hillary Clinton. Those days came and went without an answer.
EARHARDT: Big news today, you didn't - you said you didn't tape James Comey.
Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Ken Thomas and Deb Riechmann contributed reporting.