>> I was a bit stunned.>> So there are no tapes, at least according to Donald Trump. The president tweeted as much on Thursday. I have no idea whether there are tapes or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make and do not have any such recordings.
But for weeks, there's been speculation on whether the president recorded his conversations with fired FBI director James Comey, which he alluded to on Twitter in May when he said Comey better hope their chats weren't recorded, quote, before he starts leaking to the press. But the thinly-veiled threat backfired badly for the president.
Reuters Washington correspondent Ginger Gibson.>> What we see here was Trump thought he could cast doubt on the reporting and the stories that were coming out about his conversations with Comey. But it snowballed, it seemed to force Comey to release more of his own memos, to make those available which then in turn prompted the naming of a special investigator.
Which has in turn caused even more problems for Trump and caused even more discussions about the Russia probe.>> I've seen the tweet about tapes, lordy I hope there are tapes.>> Comey had welcomed the chance to back up his claims that the President privately asked for the director's loyalty and tried to compel Comey to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Trump's initial Tweet prompting Congress to demand the President hand over the tapes, should they exist. A question which, for whatever reason, the White House refused to answer for over a month.>> And you seem to be hinting that there are recordings of those conversations.>> I'm not hinting anything.
I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time.>> When is that?>> This seemed like such a cut and dry question. Either there were tapes, or there were not tapes. And what may have been, and I wish we could read Donald Trump's mind, but we can't.
An attempt to silence a conversation has instead dragged it out for much longer.>> At an off-camera briefing Thursday, White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders didn't offer much of an explanation.>> Look, I think the president's statement via Twitter today is extremely clear. I don't have any anything to add beyond the statement itself.
>> Does the president regret the tweet?>> I don't think so.>> Trump's admission came Thursday, a day before the deadline set by Congress to produce evidence of the tapes and just hours after the GOP's controversial and previously secret healthcare bill was unveiled before the Senate.