'Isn't that leaking?': CNN's Anderson Cooper grills James Comey over release of FBI memos

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesJames Comey.
  • In a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, host Anderson Cooper grilled former FBI Director James Comey over his release of memos he wrote about his interactions with President Donald Trump.
  • Trump has repeatedly referred to Comey as a leaker for releasing memos that were retroactively determined to contain classified information.

In a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, host Anderson Cooper grilled former FBI Director James Comey over his release of memos he wrote about his interactions with President Donald Trump.

The CNN anchor questioned Comey over his decision to give the memos to a friend after Trump fired him in May 2017. Those memos were then provided to media outlets.

“Is it OK for somebody at the FBI to leak something, an internal document, even if it’s not classified? Isn’t that leaking?” Cooper asked Comey.

Comey defended himself by saying that the memo he released of his conversations with Trump did not contain classified information. Four of the memos were later determined to contain classified information, which has prompted a review by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Comey also said that sharing the document as a private citizen should prevent him from being labelled a leaker.

“Really? That’s it?” Cooper said.

Comey’s release of FBI memos spurred the appointment of the special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation into investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump on Thursday referred to Comey as “leaking” and “lying” in part because of his release of the memos. He also says the memos contain false information.

Watch the clip of Comey and Cooper below:

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