President Trump on Monday accused former FBI Director James Comey of having illegally leaked classified information, on the heels of a report saying more than half the memos he wrote detailing Russia-related conversations with the president contained such information. The Hill, quoting “officials familiar with the documents,” reported overnight that Comey penned a total of seven memos describing his talks with Trump on the Russia case earlier this year – and four of them had markings indicating they contained classified material at the “secret” or “confidential” level. According to the report, the memos recently were shown to Congress — and the FBI claimed they were all government documents, despite Comey’s description of his notes as personal.
Trump seized on the news Monday morning. “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” the president tweeted.
The claims in The Hill regarding Comey’s memos are a throwback to the same kind of allegations against former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom Comey’s team investigated for mishandling classified material on her private server and email. The report comes as Trump and his family separately are grappling with a New York Times report that Donald Trump Jr. and other members of the president’s inner circle met last summer with a Russian lawyer with the expectation of getting “damaging information” on Clinton – information that, according to Trump’s son, did not materialize. A special counsel has been tasked with investigating Russian meddling in the campaign and possible collusion with Trump associates, ever since Trump fired Comey earlier this year.