Saturday on Fox News Channel’s “Bulls & Bears,” conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, who was also a White House aide during the Nixon administration, was skeptical of the possibility of President Donald Trump having a recording device.
Many have argued he alleged having such a device in a tweet about his interactions with now-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
Buchanan said he didn’t think Trump had a recording device in the Oval Office, but suggested that he should and noted that some of his predecessors going all the way back to President John F. Kennedy had them.
“I don’t believe he’s got a tape recording device, but let me say this — I think he ought to have one,” Buchanan said. “Look, he meets with [Sergey] Lavrov, people like that. Things are said that are important. Jack Kennedy had a taping system. Lyndon Johnson had one.”
Buchanan argued there was a distinction between Richard Nixon’s taped conversations and those that Johnson and Kennedy used.
“The problem with Nixon’s was they were voice-activated,” he said. “If I walked into the Oval Office and started talking to the president, you’re being taped, whereas Kennedy would through a switch and Johnson would throw a switch. But presidents have to have a record of what they say to foreign leaders. I don’t think anyone would object to that. My guess is that there was no taping done.”
As for asking Comey if he were under investigation, Buchanan did not fault Trump for the question given that it had been used to damage Trump’s reputation.
“But I will say this — when Donald Trump asks the FBI Director, ‘Am I under investigation?’ I was not outraged by that. He has spent 10 months with the suspicion created and pushed in the press that Donald Trump and [Vladimir] Putin conspired to get into Podesta’s emails and that’s damaged the president. And the president has a right to have that cleared up.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor