Trump has a long history of secretly recording calls, according to former associates

“There was never any sense with Donald of the phone being used for private conversation,” said John O’Donnell, who was president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in the 1980s.

For O’Donnell and others who have had regular dealings with Trump through the years, there was something viscerally real about the threat implied by the president’s tweet Friday morning warning that fired FBI director James B. Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

“Talking on the phone with Donald was a public experience,” said O’Donnell, author of a book about his former boss, “Trumped: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump.” “You never knew who else was listening.”…

Trump’s fascination with recording his conversations reaches back to the early years of his real estate career, when he installed in his 26th-story office in Trump Tower a “system for surreptitiously tape recording business meetings,” according to an eyewitness account in Harry Hurt’s 1993 biography, “Lost Tycoon.” And BuzzFeed News reported last year that Trump listened in on calls made by staff at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.