Dem: Trump tried to 'intimidate' Comey with threat of tapes

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) asserted Thursday that President Trump tried to "chill or intimidate" former FBI Director James Comey with his threat of possessing recordings of their conversations.

"It sounds to me like he was trying to chill or intimidate James Comey," Swalwell said on CNN's "Erin Burnett Out Front," while discussing ongoing investigations into Russia's interference in the presidential election.

Trump admitted earlier Thursday that he does not have tapes of his conversations with Comey, ending over a month of speculation about whether he recorded their private discussions.

“I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump tweeted.

The president also raised the possibility that an outside entity might have recorded such conversations.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey,” he tweeted.

Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Comey's decision to publicly testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee while knowing that tapes of their conversations may have existed serves as an indication that he is "credible."

"And what's remarkable about that is James Comey didn't know either way whether there were tapes, and came forward anyway. So if there were tapes and he told a lie to Congress, he risked perjury," Swalwell continued. "So I think that goes to show how believable and how credible James Comey's testimony was — which was very damaging for the president."

Trump first hinted in May about having "tapes" of his talks with Comey shortly after he fired the FBI chief.

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Trump wrote at the time.

Comey later said that the tweet prompted his decision to share his own accounts of his conversations with Trump. That ultimately led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller for the federal investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.