President Donald Trump on Thursday welcomed parts of a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general that concluded former FBI Director James Comey had violated FBI policies in his handling of certain memos regarding his interactions with the president.
While ignoring parts of the report that refute his own repeated claims, Trump said the IG’s findings leave Comey “thoroughly disgraced and excoriated”:
Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just released Inspector General’s Report. He should be ashamed of himself!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2019
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham echoed the president’s falsehoods in an official statement Thursday afternoon, again ignoring that the report found Comey did not leak classified information to the press, contrary to Trump’s claims.
Here’s the statement, in full:
James Comey is a proven liar and leaker. The Inspector General’s report shows Comey violated the most basic obligations of confidentiality that he owed to the United States Government and to the American people, “in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.” Because Comey shamefully leaked information to the press — in blatant violation of FBI policies — the Nation was forced to endure the baseless politically motivated, two-year witch hunt. Comey disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda, and this report further confirms that fact.
In statements of his own on Twitter, Comey was quick to note that the IG report absolved him of sharing classified information with the media ― a claim that had been regularly amplified by the GOP and the president himself.
The report “found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media,” Comey wrote, quoting the IG’s findings:
DOJ IG "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
The report directly refutes Trump’s opposing claims, in which he regularly smeared Comey with baseless charges:
James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
This story has been updated with a statement from the White House.
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