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Mike Allen Jun 22
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Trump's tape saga ends

Evan Vucci / AP

Never mind.

Forty-one days after teasing the possibility of tapes of conversations with his former FBI director, Trump today admitted it was all a bluff.

  • Trump undid his tweet with a pair of tweets: "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, 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."
  • Even his friends can't understand why Trump would antagonize Comey, or add Nixonian atmospherics to an already problematic situation.
  • The month of mystery was classic Trump, who relishes the theatrics of a big reveal, at least as much as he did during his reality-show days. It was also a classic Trump mistake: an unforced error that set in motion a new, more dangerous phase of the investigation.

So today's pièce de résistance was injecting the idea today that perhaps someone else had made tapes.