James Comey will testify about Trump before Senate -- but only if the public can watch: sources
James Comey and Donald Trump (Composite / RawStory)

Ousted FBI Director James Comey declined on Friday to appear before a Tuesday closed-door session of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but according to the New York Times, an associate of Comey's says that the former director would be willing to testify at a hearing that is available to the public.

In an article discussing President Donald Trump's bizarre threat against Comey from Friday morning and Trump's insistence that Comey told him on three separate occasions that he's not under investigation, the Times said that Comey declined to comment.

"Mr. Comey made no comment, but later in the day he declined a request to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. According to a close associate of Mr. Comey, he is willing to testify, but wants it to be in public," wrote Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear.

Mediaite.com said, "in response to Trump’s threatening 'tapes' tweet, someone close to Comey responded by saying he 'hopes' there are tapes."

Mediaite also pointed to an interesting bit of information in the Times that said, "Allies and former employees of Mr. Trump have long said that he taped some of his own phone calls, as well as meetings in Trump Tower. During the campaign, Mr. Trump’s aides told reporters that they feared their offices were bugged and that they were careful about what they said."

Trump is known to have monitored the calls of employees and guests at his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, eavesdropping on conversations via an elaborate phone network that allowed him to listen to and barge in on people's calls.

“They said he listened in on calls between club employees or, in some cases, between staff and guests,” revealed BuzzFeed last June. “None of them knew of Trump eavesdropping on guests or members talking on private calls with people who were not employees of Mar-a-Lago. They also said that Trump could eavesdrop only on calls made on the club’s landlines and not on calls made from guests’ cell phones. Each of these four sources said they personally saw the telephone console, which some referred to as a switchboard, in Trump’s bedroom.”