In President Trump’s first interview in more than a month, he admitted that he falsely suggested his conversations with former FBI director James Comey were taped to influence Comey’s sworn testimony.
Trump acknowledged he didn’t actually make any tapes on Thursday. But speaking to Fox & Friends in an interview that aired Friday morning, Trump said the “tapes” tweet was just a ruse to keep Comey honest.
“When he found out that there may be tapes out there — whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows — I think his story may have changed,” Trump said. “You’ll have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events. And my story didn’t change — my story was always a straight story, my story always was the truth. But you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed, but I did not tape.”
In response to Trump’s comments, interviewer Ainsley Earhardt praised him, saying “it was a smart way to make sure [Comey] stayed honest during those hearings.”
“It wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that,” Trump said. “He did admit that what I said was right. And if you look further back before he heard about [the ‘tapes’ tweet], I think maybe he wasn’t admitting that. So you’ll have to do a little investigative reporting to determine that, but I don’t think it’ll be that hard.”
Trump’s public admission that he was trying to influence sworn testimony before Congress could be considered witness intimidation or obstruction.
Trump’s suggestion that he force Comey to tell the truth also directly contradicts his previously statements. In a tweet posted following Comey’s testimony, Trump characterized the former FBI director as a liar.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 23, 2017
Trump Confess That Comey Is Telling The Truth & That He Attempted Witness Intimidation