Angus King on Trump-Comey ‘tapes’: ‘Release them’

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Five things to watch for at Defense nominee's confirmation hearing Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid MORE (I-Maine) on Thursday called for the release of any taped conversations between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.

“The easiest way to get out of that is if there are tapes to release them,” King said on CNN’s “360.” “Let’s get that question clarified.” 

"Let’s find out if there were tapes, and if there were, let’s have them. That will end this discussion.”

Trump in May issued a cryptic tweet about Comey three days after his abrupt firing of the former FBI director.

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

The tweet has since sparked speculation as to whether any such "tapes" exist and a desire for them to become part of ongoing investigations.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday she had “no idea” if Trump had used a recording system to document past conversations with Comey.

Comey earlier Thursday testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he hopes there are recordings of his past talks with Trump.

“I’ve seen the tweet about tapes,” he said, referencing the May tweet from Trump. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes. Release all the tapes. I’m good with it.”

Trump’s unexpected ouster of Comey stunned Washington, with critics questioning the timing of the firing.

Comey’s exit came amid the FBI’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race, including possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign team.

The Justice Department in May appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel of the federal Russia investigation after Comey’s firing.