The Secret Service said Monday that it has no audio or transcripts of any recordings made within President Trump’s White House, but did not categorically say that recordings of conversations between Trump and fired FBI Director James Comey do not exist.
The agency was responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Wall Street Journal. It did not rule out that the conversations between Trump and Comey could have been recorded by another entity.
The Secret Service has previously been responsible for all recording systems within the White House, including the one that led to Richard Nixon’s downfall during the Watergate scandal.
The Journal’s request sought recordings or transcripts of any recordings made after Jan. 20 at the White House. The paper said it made the request on May 15. The Secret Service said a review of its main indices found no records related to the request.
Trump has been coy about whether any recordings exist of his private conversations with Comey, who was dismissed by the president in May. Trump raised the possibility of tapes last month and told reporters last week that he would discuss their potential existence “in the very near future.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday an announcement would come “when the president is ready to make it.”
Comey suggested in his high-profile Senate testimony last week that any recordings would back up his account over the president’s, adding, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week she wasn’t aware of whether the White House had any kind of taping system and suggested reporters check with the Secret Service on any security-related questions.
Asked whether she would find out, Sanders joked that she would “look under the couches.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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