Fired FBI director James Comey is “not worried about any tapes” of conversations held with President Donald Trump, says a source familiar with the matter. “If there is a tape,” the source said, “there’s nothing [Comey] is worried about” that could be recorded.
The comment comes after the President tweeted a thinly veiled threat to the former FBI director Friday morning. “James Comey better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,” Trump wrote.
Conversations between the President and the former FBI director have come under scrutiny in recent days due to Trump’s claim that Comey assured him three times that he was not a subject of FBI investigation. Divergent accounts of a dinner between the two men disagree on whether the President sought or received a pledge of personal loyalty in return for Trump’s decision to leave him in charge of the FBI.
The President has said that director Comey requested the January 27 dinner meeting specifically to ask that he be kept in his post at the FBI. The source says the private dinner was initiated by Trump and that the President used the meeting as an opportunity to solicit the FBI director’s personal loyalty. If Comey had wanted to have dinner with the President, the source said, the request would have been communicated through the deputy attorney general’s office. "It doesn't work that way. It's ludicrous," the source said.
On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed the President did not ask Comey to make a loyalty pledge. "I think the President wants loyalty to his country and to the rule of law," Spicer said.
Media reports cite Comey’s refusal to make a loyalty pledge as a factor in his eventual firing. The other is alleged to be the heightened magnitude of the FBI’s probe into alleged collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.