Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told MSNBC that he considered taping a phone call with President Trump after the president made an “odd” request of him a few months after taking office. Speaking to MSNBC's Ari Melber late Tuesday, Bharara said Trump had made a series of friendly overtures to him when he was still president-elect which “seemed odd to me.” But the possibility of taping Trump came up, he said, after Trump apparently bypassed the usual protocols and tried to set up a phone conversation with Bharara in March 2017, when he was still the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “There was no heads up about it, there was no indication of what the topic would be,” he said.
“We actually considered—and it sounds not as crazy as it did back then cause now we know about Michael Cohen recording the president, and Omarosa recording the president—we considered … taping the president in that phone call.” He said he “had a certain amount of mistrust” about the proposed phone conversation, given that Trump was already facing scrutiny in the Southern District. Bharara also said he believed that outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein was not joking when he suggested wearing a recording device to secretly tape Trump when he visited the White House. “I tend to believe that he was not joking because there has been a certain kind of conduct that happens,” he said, adding that recording Trump would have been a safeguard against “untruths” and a way to protect “your own integrity.”