President Donald Trump denies he made secret recordings of ex-FBI Director James Comey despite an earlier hint to the contrary.
The president said in a tweet: “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”
Days after he fired Director Comey in May, the president had tweeted: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations…”
Donald Trump has been under pressure to produce the tapes amid inquiries into alleged Russian meddling in the election.
The House Intelligence Committee had earlier this month asked the White House to hand over any such recordings.
James Comey was heading the FBI inquiry into alleged Russian interference in last year’s presidential election, and whether the Trump team had any links to Russia, when he was fired on May 9.
In the days that followed, a succession of stories appeared in US newspapers with allegations surrounding a private meeting President Trump had with James Comey in the Oval Office in February.
They included the claim that the president had asked James Comey to drop an investigation into fired National Security Adviser Mike Flynn.
It was in that context that President Trump sent his tweet, hinting that there were tapes of the conversation.
Appearing before Congress earlier this month, James Comey confirmed he had been asked by the president to “let go” any possible prosecution of Mike Flynn for lying to federal agents about a conversation with the Russian ambassador.
James Comey said he was also asked by the president in no uncertain terms to give assurances that he would be loyal.
When asked whether he thought the conversation had been recorded, James Comey replied: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”