James Comey Denies ‘Leaks,’ Talks ‘Unclassified Conversation With The President’ In ‘Tense’ Fox News Interview

But Donald Trump is doubling down on his accusation that Comey leaked classified information

James Comey insists that he did not leak classified information despite Trump's allegations against him
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

But Donald Trump is doubling down on his accusation that Comey leaked classified information

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.

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.

“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.”