Mailbag: The Comey Hearing

This week, readers sent us comments about former FBI Director James Comey, who testified before the Senate intelligence committee about private conversations he had with President Donald Trump regarding the agency’s Russia investigation.

In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

 

Fact-Checking Comey 

I love FactCheck.org.

Regarding [“The Comey Hearing,” June 8], I found it the most muddled article I have read from FactCheck. I hoped from the title that you might be commenting on the testimony of Comey or the statements made at the hearing. Instead, the article is primarily about the veracity of lawyer [Marc] Kasowitz’s statements afterwards, mixed with some comments on the president’s statements and tweets. Throughout, the reporters seem to take Comey’s statements as a basis of fact, implying that Kasowitz is wrong when he made a statement different from Comey’s. While I personally find Comey very credible, this reporting is not very helpful.

Scott Baker
Arlington, Virginia

 

You claim in your article about Comey testifying that the New York Times posted about Trump’s private conversation with Comey four days after Trump tweeted about “tapes.” That is not correct. Trump made that tweet on May 12 and below is the link to the New York Times from May 11.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/us/politics/trump-comey-firing.html?_r=0

It is obvious from the context that they had Comey’s “memo” before that tweet, which means Comey’s claim was bogus.

JoAnne Sullivan
Highland Mills, New York

FactCheck.org responds: President Trump’s attorney said James Comey “admitted that he leaked to friends of his purported memos.” That’s wrong. Comey admitted to giving one memo (the Feb. 14 Flynn memo) to one friend (a Columbia University law professor). Now, Comey may have given more than one memo to one friend, but he did not admit to that at the hearing.

As we wrote: “We don’t know if Comey directed his associates to share information on the Jan. 27 dinner with reporters, or if he had given one of those associates the memo on the dinner after he had been fired — but neither does the president’s lawyer. Comey only admitted to sharing the memo on the Feb. 14 meeting about Flynn.”

We try to be careful in our wording, and present the facts as we know them at that point in time. Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and you may think it is obvious that Comey leaked the Jan. 27 memo, too. But we don’t know that for a fact.

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