Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) said he doesn’t think tweets are ever official. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The White House copied and pasted President Donald Trump’s day-old tweet Friday in its written response to a House committee’s bipartisan request for any recordings of Trump’s conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
In a two-paragraph letter from legislative director Marc Short to the House Intelligence Committee leaders, the White House simply quoted Trump’s contention that he has “no idea” whether any tapes of his meetings with Comey exist.
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It’s a remarkable suggestion that the president is unaware whether his private White House conversations are being taped, and it also comes hours after one of the committee’s top Republicans, Rep. Mike Conaway, said he didn’t consider Trump’s tweets an “official” response to his inquiry.
“I don’t think tweets are ever official,” the Texas Republican said. “We’d like something on letterhead.”
Conaway and his Democratic counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), requested any tapes of the president’s conversations with Comey two weeks ago and gave the White House counsel Don McGahn until June 23 to respond.
It’s unclear if Short’s letter will satisfy Conaway’s request. His spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment late Friday
Earlier in the day, Conaway declined to say if he would issue a subpoena for the tapes if he doesn’t get a satisfactory answer. “I don’t talk about stuff I might do,” Conaway said. But some Democrats have signaled that’s their preferred response if the White House continues to stonewall.
Questions about the existence of such tapes arose after Trump tweeted in mid-May, days after he fired Comey, that such tapes might exist. Details of Comey’s meetings with the president — in which he described feeling prodded by Trump to back off the agency’s Russia investigation — had begun to emerge in news accounts.