President Donald Trump accused former FBI Director James Comey of illegally leaking classified information Monday.
Notes that Comey took about his conversations with Trump regarding the Russia investigation contained classified information, according to a report from The Hill which cited “officials familiar with to documents.”
During a Senate hearing in June, Comey testified that he took notes of his conversations and then shared the memos with a friend. He said he instructed his friend, a Columbia University professor, to share the memos with reporters.
Following the report, Trump took to Twitter to accuse Comey, who was unceremoniously fired by the president in May, of leaking classified information to the media.
“That is so illegal,” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s public opinion on his former FBI chief has wavered — from praise for the FBI’s reopening of its investigation into his Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, to publicly warning Comey against leaking information to the media.
Here’s a look at what Trump has said about Comey over time.
On stopping government leakers
Trump has several times tweeted his disappointment with Comey and the FBI not being able to stop “national security ‘leakers’” – and has even accused the former FBI chief of leaking as well.
“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S.” Trump tweeted in February.
The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
In May, seven days after Comey’s termination, Trump tweeted that he had asked the former FBI director “from the beginning of [Trump’s] administration” to find “leakers” in the intelligence community.”
I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
Trump also threatened Comey against leaking, himself, information to the media.
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,” Trump tweeted on May 12.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
His tweet came after the New York Times reported that Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty during a private dinner, which Comey declined to give. The New York Times cited sources who said they knew about the details of the dinner through Comey.
Trump retweeted on July 10 a report that said Comey leaked materials to a friend that “contained top secret information.”
“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media,” Trump subsequently said. “That is so illegal!”
James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
On Comey’s firing
Trump fired Comey on May 9 and sent his FBI chief a short, impersonal letter to make him aware of his termination.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” Trump said.
“I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors,” Trump concluded.
Trump predictably took to Twitter to defend the firing and slam Democrats and those critical of Comey's removal.
“James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI," Trump said on the morning of May 10.
“Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!” Trump said in a subsequent tweet.
James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
Trump later called Democrats “hypocrites” for “pretend[ing]” to be upset about Comey’s removal from his position at the FBI.
“[Democrats] have been complaining for months [and] months about Dir. Comey,” Trump said.
Dems have been complaining for months & months about Dir. Comey. Now that he has been fired they PRETEND to be aggrieved. Phony hypocrites!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
On Clinton’s emails
Trump has often tweeted about Comey’s involvement in the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
“Hillary and the Dems loved and praised FBI Director Comey just a few days ago. Original evidence was overwhelming, should not have delayed!” Trump tweeted in October 2016.
Hillary and the Dems loved and praised FBI Director Comey just a few days ago. Original evidence was overwhelming, should not have delayed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2016
The tweet was less than a month before the election and after Comey announced the FBI was reopening its investigation into Clinton.
In May 2017, before Comey was officially sacked, Trump tweeted that Comey “was the best thing that ever happened to” Clinton because he “gave her a free pass for many bad deeds.”
FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017
...Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017
“The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?” he continued.
But Trump initially praised Comey for investigating Clinton at all.
“It took a lot of guts,” Trump said in October of Comey’s decision to reopen the Clinton investigation.
“I have to give the FBI credit. That was so bad what happened originally,” Trump said of the FBI’s original decision not to recommend charges be brought against Clinton by the Justice Department.
“It took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had where they’re trying to protect her from criminal prosecution,” Trump said at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“I was not his fan, but I’ll tell you what — what he did, he brought back his reputation,” Trump continued.
He also encouraged Comey then to “hang tough.”
On the Russia investigation
Comey told Trump that he was not under investigation by the FBI, Trump said in a May 2017 interview with NBC News.
“I said, if it’s possible would you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, ‘You are not under investigation,’” Trump said.
The president added during the interview that Comey is a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”
When asked if he was angry with Comey over his investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, Trump just said he “want[s] somebody that’s competent” to lead the FBI. He added that he is “a big fan of the FBI.”
Trump also denied pressuring Comey to drop the FBI’s probe into Russia and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Trump reportedly called Comey “crazy” and a “nut job” during a conversation with Russian officials in the Oval Office the day after Comey’s firing, according to the New York Times.
“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said according to a document of the meeting obtained by the Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
In prepared remarks released ahead of Comey’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed reports that Trump asked the FBI to lay off his former national security adviser as the department investigated Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election. But Comey also confirmed that he did reassure the president that Trump was not under investigation.
Trump was “pleased” by Comey’s admission.
“The president is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the President was not under investigation in any Russian probe,” Trump’s lawyer said in a statement. “The President feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda.”
Source : http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/10/what-trump-has-said-about-comey-from-having-guts-to-being-nut-job.html