NYT: Trump Suggested Comey Jail Journos Who Publish Classified Information

President Donald Trump announces the approval of a permit Friday to build the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for the $8 billion project, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, March 24, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump suggested to ousted FBI Director James Comey that journalists who publish classified information should be jailed, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Times, citing unnamed associates of Comey’s describing memos he kept recording his meetings with Trump, reported the discussion came in a meeting on Feb. 14.

Alone in the Oval Office, the Times reported, Trump asked Comey to end the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, who Trump had a day earlier fired as his National Security Adviser.

The Times also reported that “Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.”

Trump abruptly fired Comey last Tuesday. The White House put forward a variety of explanations for his ouster, but Trump himself said in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that, “when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.”

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Trump himself had shared highly classified information with two top Russian officials during a closed-press meeting in the Oval Office the day after the Comey firing. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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