Former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday attacked President Trump's accusations that he was leaker for providing the details of a memo he wrote to a Columbia University law professor who gave it to the news media.
"He is just wrong," Comey told Bret Baier on Fox News in an interview that was part of his book tour. "Facts really do matter, which is why I'm on the show to answer your questions.
"That memo was unclassified then," Comey added. "It's still unclassified. It's in my book.
"The FBI cleared that book before it could be published.
"That's a false statement," he said.
In an interview earlier Thursday with "Fox & Friends," Trump slammed Comey for providing the information to the professor, Daniel Richman, who was later revealed to have been working in an unpaid FBI job while he headed the agency.
Richman later gave the information to The New York Times. Comey provided the data after President Trump fired him in May 2017.
"He's probably been using his friend, the so-called professor, who now turns out to have FBI clearance, which he never said," Trump told Fox. "He even lied about that, because he never said that in Congress.
"He said he gave it to a friend," the president added. "And he gave it to a friend to leak classified information.
"It's all classified. It was totally classified.
"He did an illegal act — and he said it himself in order to get a special counsel against me," Trump said.
Comey told Baier that Richman was "a good friend of mine" and said he never disclosed that he once worked at the FBI "because it wasn't relevant.
"He was FBI special government employee until February of 2000."
The former director also pushed back on the president's accusations about Richman, saying he was no longer at the FBI when he received the information.
"None of that was true," Comey told Baier. "Expose a bias connection to the guy? He had left his FBI job months earlier.
"There is lots of other connections.
"I know him because we were prosecutors together," Comey said. "I didn’t mention that I taught with him at Columbia. I didn’t mention that.
"I think I offered to Congress a fair picture of my connection to the guy."
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