Trump says tape bluff was to keep Comey honest

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Haven't thought about' pardons for Mueller target Pence: Rocket attack 'proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace' Conservation remains a core conservative principle MORE in an interview with Fox News claimed he bluffed about having White House tapes of his conversations with James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWhy Mueller's hedge on obstruction decision was a mistake The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight Treason narrative collapses; who bears responsibility? MORE to keep the fired FBI director honest.

In the interview, Trump said that when Comey found out there was a possibility of tapes, "I think his story may have changed."

Fox reporter Ainsley Earnhardt suggested that keeping the tapes was "a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings."

"Well, uh, it wasn't very stupid, I can tell you that," Trump replied.

ADVERTISEMENT

"He did admit that what I said was right, and if you look further back, before he heard about that, i think maybe he wasn't admitting that. So I think maybe you'll need to do a little investigative reporting to determine that, but I don't think it will be that hard."

Trump said that his story on the conversations with Comey "never changed."

"My story was the straight story. My story never changed.”

Trump's firing of Comey led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel for an investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including possible links to Trump's campaign. 

It's also possible that Mueller is looking into an obstruction of justice case against Trump linked to the firing of Comey, who had been leading the Russia probe.

Trump first mentioned the possibility of tapes after reports that the former FBI director felt uncomfortable in meetings with Trump.

The president in speaking with Fox reiterated that he did not actually tape Comey.

“Well I didn’t tape him,” Trump said. “You never know what’s happening when you see that the Obama administration and perhaps longer than that was doing all this unmasking and surveillance and you read all about it and I’ve been reading about it for the last couple of months about the seriousness of the horribleness of the situation of surveillance all over the place."

“But I didn’t tape, and I don’t have any tapes, and I didn’t tape, but when he found out that there may be tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else and who knows, I think his story may have changed,” he added.

When Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month that Trump had once asked him for a pledge of loyalty and later pressed him to drop the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump accused the former top cop of lying under oath.

Trump repeated his assertion on Friday that his version of his interactions with Comey were the truth.