The Week: Sean Spicer repeatedly refuses to definitively deny that Trump is recording White House conversations

Jeva Lange May 12th, 2017.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was repeatedly and directly asked if President Trump is recording conversations in the Oval Office. Each time, Spicer refused to answer.

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Earlier Friday, President Trump apparently threatened former FBI Director James Comey, tweeting: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Spicer’s first question at the press conference was directly related: “Did President Trump record his conversations with former FBI Director Comey?” Reuters‘ Jeff Mason wanted to know.

“I’ve talked to the president and the president has nothing further to add to that,” Spicer said.

Mason continued to press Spicer, without Spicer budging:

A few minutes later, Time‘s Zeke Miller returned to the question: “Is [Trump] currently recording conversations taking place in the Oval Office?”

“I think that the point that I made, in respect to the tweet, is the president has no further comment on this,” Spicer said, again refusing to take the opportunity to deny the allegation. 

The possibility that Trump is taping conversations has sparked widespread alarm. Former President Richard Nixon’s lawyer, John Dean, who was charged for obstruction of justice due to his role in Watergate, tweeted Friday: “Obviously President Trump is confused. He is the one who must hope there are no tapes. Honest people do not have problems being taped.” Jeva Lange