Speed Reads


More than half of James Comey's private memos contained classified information

Most of the memos fired FBI Director James Comey created to document his interactions with President Trump before his ouster contained classified information, a revelation that casts in a new light his decision to leak those memos to the press via a friend.

Comey told Congress last month he considered the memos to be personal papers containing his "unclassified" "recollection recorded of my conversation with the president" which he distributed to the press as a "private citizen." During the same testimony, he agreed with a senator's characterization of the memos as something other than a "government document."

The FBI now says seven of the nine memos in fact are government documents. More than half have classified information, and four are marked with indicators they contain "secret" or "confidential" level classified data. The FBI does not permit the release of classified content without written permission.

President Trump reacted to this news about Comey's memos on Twitter on Monday morning, retweeting a Fox & Friends clip on the subject and commenting, "James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!"

Update, July 11: Comey's friend who helped leak elements of the memos takes issue with the suggestion that classified information was leaked, arguing, among other things, that several memos were retroactively marked classified.