The Latest: Secret Service says it has no Trump tapes
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on investigations into possible contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia (all times local):
The U.S. Secret Service says it doesn’t have any recordings or transcripts of any tapes recorded within President Donald Trump’s White House.
The agency’s response comes as Trump has been coy about whether any tapes exist of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump raised the possibility of tapes last month after firing Comey. He told reporters last week that he would discuss the possibility “in the very near future.”
The agency made the disclosure in response to a freedom of information request by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper noted that it doesn’t exclude the possibility of recordings created by another entity.
President Donald Trump is planning to hold a campaign-style rally later this month in Iowa.
His re-election campaign says the event will take place June 21 at an arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Trump had delayed an earlier plan to visit the state soon after his first foreign trip.
Trump has held several campaign rallies since becoming president, including events in Kentucky and Tennessee.
His most recent such event was in Pennsylvania, to mark his 100th day in office.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer is declining to say whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should invoke executive privilege in testimony to Congress Tuesday.
Spicer told reporters Monday that it “depends on the scope of the questions” and said it was “premature” to say.
Sessions will testify in open session Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee, where he’ll face questions over his role in the controversy around possible ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
Spicer also declined to say whether Trump agrees with Sessions’ decision to testify. But he says the president “believes that the sooner we can get this addressed and dealt with” the better.
Spicer is also refusing to say whether tapes exist of the president’s conversations with FBI Director James Comey before Trump fired him. Comey told Congress last week that Trump urged him to drop a probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he wants his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee to be open to the public.
The Justice Department says Sessions has requested Tuesday’s committee hearing be open because he “believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him.”
The Justice Department says Sessions looks forward to answering the committee’s questions.
Sessions faces questions about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign. He recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice last year with the ambassador. He had told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says testimony from former FBI Director James Comey “reflected very poorly on members of the Obama administration as well.”
On “Fox & Friends” Monday, Conway noted Comey’s testimony that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama’s attorney general, directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as a “matter” and to avoid calling it an investigation.
Conway stressed that Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has said there should be further investigation.
Conway also said Comey’s testimony showed President Donald Trump was not under investigation.
Comey testified that the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign did not extend to Trump himself during the time Comey was leading the FBI. That investigation continues, as do congressional inquiries.
President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, says her father felt “vindicated” and “incredibly optimistic” following fired FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony last week.
In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Ivanka Trump says political life still surprises her and that “there is a level of viciousness I was not expecting.”
When asked what she thought of Comey’s testimony, in which he said Trump suggested he drop a probe into former National Security adviser Michael Flynn’s Russia contacts, Ivanka Trump said her father felt “very vindicated...and feels incredibly optimistic.”
She added: “With all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage and obviously what makes headlines, ultimately we’re really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president.” She said she’s trying to keep her focus on helping her father change the status quo.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to face former Senate colleagues over his role in the controversy around ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. It’s part of an escalating investigation into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.
Sessions is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee and was due for sharp questioning. It is not yet known whether the hearing will be public or closed.
Fellow Republicans, meanwhile, pressed Trump to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey and provide them to Congress if he does — or possibly face a subpoena.