President Donald Trump should stop playing games about whether there are tapes of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“If there are tapes, he alluded to the fact that there are tapes, maybe as a threat or taunting Comey, he should make them public right away,” Schumer said. “If there aren't tapes, he should let that be known. No more game playing.”
The Senate minority leader made the comparison to the way he is discussing the possibility of tapes to the way he talked about releasing his tax returns.
“This is serious stuff, and the president seems to be taking it almost a little bit lightly,” Schumer said, especially since it was the president himself who raised the possibility that there were tapes of his conversations with Comey. “It's sort of like the tax returns. You know, in the middle of the summer last year, he said he'd release them before the election. Then he said there's an audit. Then he said he's never going to release them… he ought to say what he means.”
Schumer invited Trump to testify before the Senate, as the president said he was willing to do, as a way to clear up the issue, saying “I think we could work out a way that it could be dignified, public, with questions.”
When Schumer was asked what he thought about House Speaker Paul Ryan’s defense of Trump that he is new at government and was perhaps unfamiliar with the protocols of handling such situations, Schumer said the fact that Trump asked for the room to be cleared before he spoke with Comey indicated the conversation was not an inadvertent mistake.
Schumer added that “The fact that he's new, the fact that he may not say things so seriously, that's not an excuse. He's the President of the United States and he's got to step up to the plate.”
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