Trump lawyer insists Comey misled Senate about leak timeline

Trump lawyer insists Comey misled Senate about leak timeline
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President Trump’s lawyer accused former FBI Director James Comey Friday of misleading the Senate Intelligence Committee about when and why he leaked personal memos to the press.

In a combative statement, Marc Kasowitz lashed out at the media, accusing the press of misreporting his claim that Comey gave false testimony.

On May 12, just days after Trump fired Comey, the president suggested over Twitter that he may have secretly recorded their private conversations.

The former FBI director testified before Congress on Thursday that he was worried Trump would lie about their encounters and that the tweet about “tapes” provoked him to provide his own personal memo about a meeting with Trump, through a friend, to the press to get his side of the story out.

Comey has accused Trump of demanding “loyalty” from him and of pressuring him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

However, Trump’s legal team says Comey was leaking before Trump's May 12 tweet about tapes.

They point to a story that ran in The New York Times that ran on May 11, which was first time it was reported that Trump had asked Comey for “loyalty.”

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“It is obvious that whomever was the source for the May 11, 2017 New York Times story got that information from the memos or from someone reading or who had the memos,” Kasowitz said.

Several news outlets have said Kasowitz is confusing or misleading about the timeline, saying that the first New York Times story to specifically reference the memos came on May 16, after Trump’s tweet.

But in his testimony, Comey details the dinner he had with Trump and said, “As was my practice with President Trump, I wrote a detailed memo about the dinner immediately afterwards and shared it with the senior leadership team at the FBI.”

The first story to report on the dinner ran on May 11.

“Numerous press stories have misreported that our statement yesterday incorrectly claimed that the New York Times was reporting details from Mr. Comey’s memos the day before President Trump’s May 12, 2017 tweet because, according to these reports, the first New York Times story to mention the memos specifically was May 16, which was after the tweet,” Kasowitz said.

“This makes clear, as our statement said, that Mr. Comey incorrectly testified that he never leaked the contents of the memo or details of the dinner before President Trump’s May 12, 2017 tweet.”