Sen. Ron Johnson says it would be "troubling" if Pres. Trump taped conversations

WISCONSIN DELLS -- U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says it would be concerning if President Donald Trump recorded conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, but says he doesn't think the president did.

"It'd be troubling, sure," Johnson told reporters at the annual Republican Party of Wisconsin convention.

The issue gained attention when President Trump appeared to threaten in a Friday tweet that Comey "better hope" there are no tapes of their conversations before Comey leaked information to the press. Johnson said he took the president's tweet to mean Comey, not President Trump, may have recorded some conversations.

President Trump fired Comey this week, saying Comey was no longer able to properly lead the FBI.

Johnson said he looked forward to President Trump choosing a new director who could more independently lead the ongoing investigation into possible Trump campaign ties with Russia. Comey was a lightning rod for Democrats during the 2016 campaign as the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, and has since taken criticism from Republicans for the Russia investigation.

Johnson said he also has confidence in the Senate Intelligence committee, which is also investigating possible ties. Democrats are calling for the president to appoint a special prosecutor, though Johnson said one was not needed yet.

"It's way too early to say," Johnson told reporters. "I've got a great deal of faith in the independence of the FBI and those agents. And I've got a great deal of confidence, quite honestly, in the independent, bipartisan nature of the Senate Intelligence committee."

The comments mark the first time Johnson has spoken publicly about Comey's firing.