The Latest: Trump asks whether illegal leaks prompted probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former FBI Director James Comey’s memos (all times local):
President Donald Trump appears to be trying to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation by suggesting it was prompted by “illegally leaked” memos.
Trump tweets late Friday that former FBI Director James Comey “illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council?”
He says that, “Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act?” adding: “Really, does everybody know what that means?”
Trump is referring to memos Comey wrote documenting his conversations with Trump before he was fired. He asked a friend to release them to the press.
Comey has said he hoped the memos’ release would lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russian election meddling and potential coordination with Trump’s campaign.
The memos, which were obtained this week by the AP, were unclassified, though some portions were blacked out as classified.
Trump is tweeting late Friday night from his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
James Comey and President Donald Trump seem to disagree on most everything, but the ex-FBI director’s memos show consensus on at least thing: the need to hunt down leakers.
The two officials bonded over the idea of a proposed leak crackdown, even sharing a chuckle over a crude joke involving jailed journalists, according to memos maintained by Comey and obtained by The Associated Press.
According to the memos, Comey told Trump it would be tricky legally to jail reporters but said he saw value in going after leakers and “putting a head on a pike as a message” by bringing such a case.
Trump shot back that sending that message may involve jailing reporters.
President Donald Trump fumed at former national security adviser Michael Flynn over a delayed return call to Russian President Vladimir Putin. That’s what two people familiar with the call told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Trump’s displeasure with Flynn was revealed late Thursday in memos written by former FBI Director James Comey detailing his conversations with Trump. The identity of the foreign leader, with whom Trump spoke on Jan. 28, 2017, was blacked out in the copies of the memos sent to Capitol Hill on Thursday and obtained by the AP.
Comey recounts how Trump at a private White House dinner pointed his fingers at his head and complained that Flynn “has serious judgment issues” over failing to promptly alert him to Putin’s call shortly after his inauguration.
President Donald Trump is defending his former national security adviser after the release of memos written by fired FBI Director James Comey.
Trump tweets: “So General Michael Flynn’s life can be totally destroyed while Shadey (sic) James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written).”
He goes on to ask: “Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!”
In one memo, Comey recounted how Trump once pointed his fingers at his head and complained that Flynn had “serious judgment issues.”
The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions with Trump that Comey said he found so unnerving that he chose to document them in writing.
Former FBI Director James Comeys memos show President Donald Trump sharing some startling observations in a series of candid conversations last year. Comey wrote that Trump had serious concerns about the judgment of a top adviser, asked about the possibility of jailing journalists and described a boast from Vladimir Putin about Russian prostitutes.
That’s according to Comey’s notes of the talks that were obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday night.
The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions with Trump that Comey found so unnerving that he chose to document them in writing. Those seven encounters came in the weeks and months before Comey’s May 2017 firing.