The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher describes how President Trump used recording devices during meetings as a businessman and what the implications could be now that he is in the White House. (Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)
President Trump suggested Friday that there may be “tapes” of his private conversations with FBI Director James B. Comey, whom he fired earlier this week, in what appeared to be an attempt to threaten Comey about “leaking to the press.”
In his tweet, Trump put the word tapes in quotation marks, indicating that there may be a some kind of record of his conversation with Comey, whether or not it’s an actual audio or video recording. He used a similar construct in two of his March 4 tweets accusing President Barack Obama, without any evidence, of wiretapping his campaign offices. Trump put the words “wires tapped” in quotation marks, which Spicer later argued meant surveillance activities more broadly as opposed to physical wiretapping.
Since President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, the explanations for the dismissal have been getting murkier. Now Trump has tweeted a threat to cancel press briefings and a suggestion about “tapes” of his private conversations with Comey. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
Trump’s tweet Friday drew immediate comparisons to President Richard Nixon’s practice of taping his private conversations in the Oval Office. Presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted, “Presidents are supposed to have stopped routinely taping visitors without their knowledge when Nixon’s taping system was revealed in 1973.”