President Donald Trump and his associates are trying to draw attention to the relationship between special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey.
Back on May 12, prior to Comey testifying before Congress, Trump threatened in a tweet that "James Comey better hope that there are no " tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" He told Fox News he hasn't ruled out firing Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.
While White House officials have said the firing was due to concerns about Comey's actions at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Trump told an interviewer the Russian Federation investigation was one of his concerns in taking the action.
The former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified before a Senate committee that Trump had asked him to halt a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's alleged collision with Russian Federation.
Conaway said that the tweet wasn't a sufficient response, while Schiff noted that Trump's tweet stopped short of denying that the White House had recordings and said he wanted a response in writing.
"The fact that [Trump] knew when he said it that he didn't have tapes ... to me is an indicator that he was doing it for an improper goal", he said. It was he said-he said, Trump's word against Comey's.
Trump announced that there are records that would potentially sweep Comey's claims away.
The president also suggested Mueller may have to step down at some point, saying "we'll have to see" three times when asked if Mueller should recuse himself from the probe.
The episode exhausted Trump's defenders and aides, who for weeks have been dodging questions about the recordings. All demanded anonymity to speak about private discussions with the president. While the two men were acquaintances, and got along well, to claim that they are "very very good friends" is simply not the truth. She also could not explain Trump's new reference to possible surveillance.
"It's remarkable the president was so flippant to make his original tweet and then frankly stonewall the media and the country for weeks", Warner said. After news of the tapes emerged, the White House admitted that a crucial 18.5 minute conversation between Nixon and his chief of staff after the Watergate break-in had been erased.
Information for this article was contributed by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times; and by Jonathan Lemire, Eric Tucker, Jill Colvin and Catherine Lucey of The Associated Press.