James Comey is still denying that he leaked classified information about a conversation he had with President Donald Trump. During a Fox News interview with Brett Baier, Comey insisted that he made the right decision to disclose his memos from conversations with Trump to some of his associates. According to the former FBI director, the memos detailed his memories of certain encounters with the president and were “like a diary.”
“That memo was unclassified then,” Comey said. “It’s still unclassified. It’s in my book. The FBI cleared that book before it could be published.” Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, outlines his point of view about the events that led to him being fired.
But, today, President Trump took to Twitter to launch new allegations against Comey, reiterating his assertion that the man he fired leaked classified information.
“James Comey can’t define what a leak is,” Trump said in a lengthy tweet. “He illegally leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION but doesn’t understand what he did or how serious it is.”
Comey had a long history of working in the Justice Department. According to Biography, he was appointed FBI director by President Obama in 2013 but previous to that he worked as the assistant attorney general during George W. Bush’s administration. So it stands to reason that he would know how serious leaking classified information and understand if he was guilty of doing so.
During the Fox News interview, Comey says that he gave the memos to an associate of his named Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University. He then asked Richman to release “the substance” of the memos to the press.
“I don’t consider what I shared with Mr. Richman a leak,” Comey said to Baier.
As CNBC notes, Comey wrote the memos last year as a way to chronicle his interactions with President Trump. In these documents, Comey recalled that Trump repeatedly wanted to discuss allegations about his alleged connections to Russia that are outlined in an unverified dossier, that’s become known as the Christopher Steele dossier.
Is everybody believing what is going on. James Comey can’t define what a leak is. He illegally leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION but doesn’t understand what he did or how serious it is. He lied all over the place to cover it up. He’s either very sick or very dumb. Remember sailor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018
In his book, Comey remembers that Trump seemed to be particularly focused on talking about claims that he interacted with prostitutes during a trip to Russia and that there’s video evidence of it on what’s being called the “pee-pee tape,” The Washington Post reports.
According to The Daily Caller, Baier later told the panel over at Fox and Friends that he found the interview with Comey was tense and that he was surprised the former FBI director did not “know” about key aspects of the Christopher Steele dossier, namely the claim that it was funded by The Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 26, 2018
“I started with the Clinton probe and got to the Trump probe, and started to go down the leaking questions there. Obviously, it was tense — back and forth,” Baier said. “But in the commercial break he turned to me said, hey those are tough but fair questions.”