The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Trump faces or­der to re­lease ‘se­cret tapes’ of FBI boss

- From Caro­line Gra­ham

DON­ALD Trump could be forced to re­lease ‘se­cret tapes’ of his con­ver­sa­tions with ousted FBI boss James Comey as early as this week.

A let­ter de­mand­ing the tapes – if they ex­ist – was sent to White House lawyers late on Fri­day by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Se­nate in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee prob­ing the US Pres­i­dent’s al­leged ties to Rus­sia.

Last week Mr Comey made in­ter­na­tional head­lines when he tes­ti­fied be­fore the com­mit­tee about three face-to-face meet­ings with Mr Trump, in which the Pres­i­dent al­legedly de­manded a ‘pledge of loy­alty’ and asked the FBI to end its Rus­sia probe.

Mr Comey made notes of the meet­ings in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary, which he leaked af­ter he was fired last month. Mr Trump then hinted he had recorded the pri­vate meet­ings in a tweet, say­ing: ‘James Comey bet­ter hope that there are no “tapes” of our con­ver­sa­tions be­fore he starts leak­ing to the press!’

On Fri­day, the Pres­i­dent de­clared he was ‘100 per cent’ will­ing to tes­tify un­der oath that Mr Comey was ly­ing about their con­ver­sa­tions, but re­fused to con­firm the ex­is­tence of the tapes.

He told re­porters: ‘I’ll tell you about that maybe some­time in the near fu­ture,’ adding cryp­ti­cally: ‘You’re go­ing to be very dis­ap­pointed when you hear the an­swer, don’t worry.’

Mr Comey, who claims he was fired be­cause he re­fused to back down in the Rus­sian probe, said: ‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes.’

He claims he wrote down de­tails of the meet­ings ‘im­me­di­ately af­ter they hap­pened’ be­cause he felt ‘un­com­fort­able’. He later leaked de­tails of the notes to the me­dia via a friend. Mr Comey has al­ready agreed to turn over his notes.

A White House source said: ‘At the mo­ment this is a case of “he said, he said”. The tapes, if they ex­ist, are key. If Trump has them he must hand them over im­me­di­ately.

‘The com­mit­tee mem­bers have vowed to make them pub­lic im­me­di­ately. The sooner this is re­solved, the sooner we can move on. Those tapes are at the heart of this con­flict. If they ex­ist they could vin­di­cate Trump – or brand him a liar.’

Mr Trump – who de­nies ask­ing Mr Comey for loy­alty – at­tacked the for­mer FBI head’s tes­ti­mony as ‘lies’ in a tweet on Fri­day: ‘De­spite so many false state­ments and lies, to­tal and com­plete vin­di­ca­tion.’

He also seized on Mr Comey’s rev­e­la­tions that he had leaked memos of their con­ver­sa­tions to the press, tweet­ing: ‘WOW, Comey is a leaker!’

 ??  ?? WAR OF WORDS: For­mer FBI chief James Comey and Don­ald Trump
WAR OF WORDS: For­mer FBI chief James Comey and Don­ald Trump
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