The New York Times reports:
Memos written by the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that were released on Thursday revealed several new details about his relationship with President Trump and the president’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
Though much of what the memos describe was already public, the documents themselves provided an intimate portrait of the early months of the Trump White House and how the president and Mr. Priebus confronted leaks, the prospect that the national security adviser was under investigation and allegations about Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia.
Mr. Comey depicts Mr. Trump as a man engrossed to the point of distraction with political rivalries and fears that bureaucrats and government officials, including in the F.B.I., were trying to undermine his legitimacy.
If House Republicans thought they were helping President Donald Trump by forcing the release of James Comey’s memos, they might want to think again. The documents written by the then-FBI director, detailing his interactions with Trump, present a contemporaneous and deeply unflattering view of a President throwing his weight around in his first days in the White House — that at the very least seems highly inappropriate.
It’s possible that the House committee chairmen wanted the memos released to undercut Comey’s current book tour and to weaken the Mueller probe. If that was the case it has backfired. If anything, the memos appeared to bolster the credibility of Comey — given their exhaustive detail. Comey will be a key witness in the question of whether Trump obstructed justice by firing him.
Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment of a top adviser, asked about the possibility of jailing journalists and described a boast from Vladimir Putin about Russian prostitutes, according to Comey’s notes of the talks obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday night. The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions with Trump that Comey found so unnerving that he chose to document them in writing.
Those seven encounters in the weeks and months before Comey’s May 2017 firing include a Trump Tower discussion about allegations involving Trump and prostitutes in Moscow; a White House dinner at which Comey says Trump asked him for his loyalty; and a private Oval Office discussion where the ex-FBI head says the president asked him to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser.
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
So General Michael Flynn’s life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written). Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
I already thanked House Republicans, but I’m going to do it again. There is so much in the #Comeymemos that @realDonaldTrump would not want released, but you did it anyway! I don’t know why you did it, but much thanks. https://t.co/bMCohiXIcF
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 20, 2018
how devastating for Comey that his memos contain … exactly what he said they did
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 20, 2018
Why would anyone trying to protect Trump want the Comey memos released? I’m confused.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) April 20, 2018
What exactly were House Republicans hoping to accomplish by demanding the full release of these memos? Nothing I’ve read seems to change Comey’s story and if anything, these memos give more, not less, credence to the dossier.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) April 20, 2018
According to Comey’s memos, @realDonaldTrump make multiple mentions of reporters going to jail over leaked information.
Comey: “I explained that I was a fan of pursuing leaks aggressively but that going after reporters was tricky.”
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) April 20, 2018
BREAKING: Comey memo: Trump said Vladimir Putin told him, ‘We have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world’
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 20, 2018
James Comey said his ritual of writing memos about conversations with Trump began after a meeting inside Trump Tower. “I knew I was communicating with someone who might not tell the truth about it if it ever became an issue,” he said. https://t.co/9Z56MqJL55
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 20, 2018
Content of James Comey memos released to Fox News less than an hour after they were given to Congress https://t.co/hRbXpTbdeL
— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 20, 2018
Comey memos go to Devin Nunes and they are leaked within hours. To everyone in this district it’s pretty obvious who the leaker is…
— Andrew Janz (@JanzforCongress) April 20, 2018
It’s fair to say that a congratulatory phone call between heads of state bragging about the relative value of each country’s hookers is unusual. pic.twitter.com/HjvQXRicfd
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) April 20, 2018