President Trump accused former FBI Director James B. Comey of illegally leaking classified information to the media, part of an angry, early morning tweet storm on Monday as the president faces new allegations about his 2016 campaign’s contact with the Russians.
“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media,” Trump wrote, referring to the FBI director he fired in May. “That is so illegal!”
Testifying before Congress last month, Comey revealed that a tweet by the president — incorrectly suggesting he may have had taped his conversations with Comey — prompted the former FBI director to ask a close friend to leak to the news media private memos he had kept recounting his interactions with Trump.
The president also used Twitter to push out several a “Fox & Friends” clips Monday morning, including one accusing Comey of having his friend leak top secret information, and another accusing the media of not representing half of the country.
And later in the morning, he retweeted a missive by Fox News host Sean Hannity, which attacked Hillary Clinton, seeming to refer to her private email server as secretary of state and saying, “HRC mishandles and destroys classified info-NO PROBLEM!”
Trump’s frustrated, frenzied tweets — at times, he basically seemed to be live-tweeting “Fox & Friends” — came amid reports in the New York Times this weekend that the president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — as well as his son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul J. Manafort — met with a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties during the 2016 campaign, after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
The president then urged lawmakers to pass legislation to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature health care bill before leaving for the August recess.
“I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!” he wrote.
Senate Republicans left for the July 4 holiday after failing to hold a vote on Republican heath-care legislation. The White House has signaled that if Republicans cannot successfully pass a new health-care plan, the administration will pressure lawmakers to simply repeal the current health care law — and then, possibly, work with Democrats to write replacement legislation.
Later, Trump’s tweets veered in an entirely different direction: defending his daughter Ivanka, who prompted international backlash at the Group of 20 summit on Saturday when she briefly filled in for her father at a table of world leaders when he left the room.
“When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat,” Trump wrote. “Very standard. Angela M agrees!”
Trump asserted that if Chelsea Clinton had been a similar situation, the reaction from the media would have been calls for Chelsea herself to run for president.
“If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!” Trump wrote.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel — or “Angela M” in Trump parlance — earlier this year hosted Ivanka at a summit focused on women empowerment in Berlin, and did defend the president’s daughter to reporters.
“Ivanka Trump belonged to the American delegation, so that is in line with what other delegations do,” Merkel said Saturday. “And it is known that she works at the White House and carries responsibility for certain initiatives.’’