President Trump Friday suggested former FBI Director James Comey might leak false information to the press about their conversations.
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
Trump has said Comey assured him on three separate occasions that he was not a target of the Russia election influence probe.
I think this tweet gets at a key reason why Trump fired Comey. He was angry that Comey did not seem enthusiastic about investigating the leaks of classified information related to contacts between Trump advisors and Russian officials.
In an article running in today’s Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel points out one of the reasons Trump must have suspected Comey wasn’t getting busy finding the leakers: He might just find them in his own agency.
Or the loquacious director might just be leaking himself.
So far the only crime that has come to light from this Russia probe is the rampant and felonious leaking of classified information to the press. Mr. Trump and the GOP rightly see this as a major risk to national security. While the National Security Agency has been cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee and allowing lawmakers to review documents that might show the source of the leaks, Mr. Comey’s FBI has resolutely refused to do the same.
Why? The press reports that the FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor Carter Page. It’s still unclear exactly under what circumstances the government was listening in on former Trump adviser Mike Flynn and the Russian ambassador, but the FBI was likely involved there, too. Meaning Mr. Comey’s agency is a prime possible source of the leaks.
In last week’s Senate hearing, Chairman Chuck Grassley pointed out the obvious: The entire top leadership of the FBI is suspect. “So how,” Mr. Grassley asked, “can the Justice Department guarantee the integrity of the investigations without designating an agency, other than the FBI, to gather the facts and eliminate senior FBI officials as suspects?” Mr. Comey didn’t provide much of an answer.
Trump’s tweet clearly indicates he thinks Comey is a leaker. It wasn’t just, as some are now saying, that Trump wanted loyalty from Comey. He didn’t trust his sanctimonious subordinate.