The Secret Service on Monday said it has no copies or transcripts of audio recordings made within the White House during President Donald Trump’s term so far, though Trump appeared to suggest a recording system may exist inside the Oval Office.
“It appears, from a review of Secret Service’s main indices, that there are no records pertaining to your request that are referenced in these indices,” the Secret Service wrote to the Wall Street Journal in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Wall Street Journal in May filed a request for “recordings or transcripts of any recordings” made after Trump’s inauguration.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, while the Secret Service installed recording systems for former presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, such recordings could also have been created or maintained by other means.
The National Archives and Records Administration, which governs materials subject to the Presidential Records Act (as such recordings would likely be), told the Wall Street Journal that contemporary presidential records are not subject to FOIA requests while the incumbent is in office.
Trump in May appeared to suggest that he recorded his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The White House has since declined to confirm whether or not any such recordings exist, let alone if Trump will release them at any point.