On Monday, former FBI Director James Comey concluded his second round of meetings with lawmakers behind closed doors. Upon exiting from the committee room, Comey was greeted by a group of eager reporters who asked about the hit to the FBI’s credibility and was Comey to blame for it.
Comey was also asked, very plainly and very directly, if he had included any classified information in a collection of memos that he shared with a colleague.
The reporter prefaced the question by saying there was a “classified containment operation” conducted after Comey released the memos.
“My understanding is that when you shared your memos with your legal team that there was a follow up for a classified containment operation by the Bureau,” the reporter said, as the Daily Wire reports. “Was there a spill of classified information when you shared those memos?”
Comey brushed the question completely.
“Yeah, I’m not going to talk about something like that,” the former FBI director responded.
“Well that’s important to talk about whether classified information was mishandled,” the reporter returned.
Comey—again—refused to answer the question of whether or not he leaked classified information in memos that he wrote to his friend, former federal prosecutor, and current Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman.
“Whether you think it is or not, I’m not going to talk about it one way or another,” Comey concluded.
Watch the interaction below:
Here’s more on Comey’s memos, also from the Daily Wire:
Comey gave his memos to his friend Daniel Richman — a former federal prosecutor and current professor at Columbia Law School — claiming that he thought the memos were his personal property. The Daily Wire reported in April:
Comey told the committee that he had given memos he had written while serving as FBI director to his friend, a law professor at Columbia University, so he could leak it to the media for the express purpose of creating pressure to create a special prosecutor for the Russia allegations, which turned out to be Robert Mueller.
Though Comey tried to argue that the memos were his private property and thus legal for him to distribute, the FBI made clear they were in fact government property and contained classified information.
President Trump and the White House have spoken critically of Comey before and after Trump decided to fire him from his post atop the FBI.
In a tweet on Monday evening, White House Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders contended Comey was responsible for “tremendous corruption.”
She also said Trump “did the country a service” in removing him from the FBI.
“Republicans should stand up to Comey and his tremendous corruption – from the fake Hillary Clinton investigation, to lying and leaking, to FISA abuse, and a list too long to name. The President did the country a service by firing him and exposing him for the shameless fraud he is,” Sanders wrote in the tweet.