Report accuses material James Comey leaked to a friend contained top secret information pic.twitter.com/Hkg4cAb6o9
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 10, 2017
On Monday morning, President Donald Trump blasted out a tweet accusing former FBI director James Comey of leaking classified information to the press when he passed on a memo of their conversations to The New York Times.
The accusation was based on a Fox & Friends segment that ran Monday morning, which itself was based on a report in The Hill — that Comey’s memos about his conversations with Trump contained classified information.
But in a helpful explainer from The Washington Post, Philip Bump writes that the Fox & Friends segment, and subsequent tweet about the report — with the caption “Report accuses material James Comey leaked to a friend contained top secret information” — is inaccurate and misleading.
As Bump notes, “If Comey gave classified information to someone without security clearance to leak to the press, it’s problematic. But that’s not what the Hill’s report says.”
The Hill instead writes that of the seven memos Comey prepared after his conversations with Trump, four were marked classified.
So, “the wording on that Fox report is misleading,” Bump writes. “The memos contained classified information is true when considering the memos as a group. It is not true, though, that each memo contained classified information — or, at least, it’s not true that each memo was marked as being classified.”
In fact, in Comey’s June testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he stated that he passed one unclassified memo on to his friend, who in turn leaked that memo to the press.
“The tweet from Fox and Friends based on the Hill report is incorrect,” Bump notes. “And so, too, is Trump’s tweet. If there was classified information in the memo that Comey asked his friend to leak to the Times, that’s not yet been reported.”
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com