Speed Reads

the comey tapes

Republicans urge Trump to release Comey tapes — if they exist

On Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on CNN's State of the Union that President Trump should come clean on whether or not he has any tapes of private conversations between himself and former FBI Director James Comey, and if so, he should hand them over to Congress, or he could face a subpoena.

"I don't understand why the president just doesn't clear this matter up once and for all," Collins, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said members of the committee were pressing the White House on the issue.

On Friday, Republicans and Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee issued a letter demanding any recordings be turned over within two weeks. Such tapes could shape the ongoing investigation into Russia's ties to the White House. Specifically they could shed light on whether or not Trump tried to encourage Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his relationships with Russian officials.

Last month, Trump abruptly fired Comey from his post, and in the following days, issued a tweet in which he threatened him with "tapes" of their conversations. Since then, the Trump administration has not said whether or not tapes actually exist. During his Senate testimony last week, Comey said, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes," adding: "The President surely knows if there are tapes. If there are, my feelings aren't hurt. Release the tapes."