- REUTERS/Mike Segar
The US Secret Service said there are “no records” of audio copies or transcripts of recordings in the White House after President Donald Trump took office.
The agency issued that statement in response to The Wall Street Journal’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request Monday, amid pointed questions followingm Trump’s suggestion that there may be recordings of his interactions with former FBI director James Comey.
“James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,” tweeted Trump, following a New York Times’ report last month.
“In response to your request, the Secret Service has conducted a reasonable search for responsive records,” the Secret Service wrote in response to The Journal’s FOIA request in May. “It appears, from a review of Secret Service’s main indices, that there are no records pertaining to your request that are referenced in these indices.”
“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey said at his hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
Both Trump and his staff have yet to give a definitive answer on the existence of recording devices at the White House. Trump said on Friday: “I’m not hinting anything. I’ll tell you about it over a very short period of time,” Trump said to reporters on Friday. “Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.”
Although the Secret Service has handled the White House’s recording systems in the past – including for presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy – the agency’s latest denial may not necessarily rule out the possibility of a separate recording system, according to The Journal.