Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' Schiff: McCarthy 'will do whatever Trump tells him' if GOP wins back House Jan. 6 panel to pursue criminal contempt referral for Bannon MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is calling on the White House to officially notify lawmakers as to whether recordings of President Trump's conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey exist.
Trump suggested last month that he may have recorded interactions between himself and Comey in the White House before admitting in a Thursday tweet, to not having such "tapes."
"Regardless of whether the President intends his tweets to be an official reply to the House Intelligence Committee, the White House must respond in writing to our committee as to whether any tapes or recordings exist," Schiff said in a statement.
Trump's admission that the purported White House recordings don't exist "raises as many questions as it answers," Schiff said, including why the president would suggest otherwise and whether he had done so to intimidate Comey.
“While I would certainly hope that the President's most recent statement is true, we will continue to pursue the matter with other witnesses so that the public can be assured that if recordings were ever made, they will be preserved and be made available to the committee and ultimately to the public, as well,” Schiff said.
The House Intelligence Committee, which is one of the four congressional panels investigating Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election, sent a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn earlier this month asking him to clarify whether Trump had recordings of his conversations with Comey.
The question of the White House recordings came in the days following Trump's abrupt firing of Comey in early May.
In the wake of his ouster, details began to surface about a fraught relationship between Comey and Trump, including news reports that the president had asked the then-FBI director for a pledge of loyalty during a White House dinner.
A day after news of that meeting became public, Trump tweeted that Comey "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations."
Comey later confirmed in a Senate hearing that Trump had, in fact, asked him to pledge his loyalty, and once asked him to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
During his testimony, Comey said he hoped Trump that had recorded their conversations, because it would verify that he was telling the truth.
In a June 9 news conference, Trump accused Comey of lying during his Senate testimony and said that he would reveal whether or not he had tapes of the conversations "in the very near future."