— James Comey (@Comey) February 20, 2020
Trump and Comey have frequently been at odds since Trump fired Comey from his position as head of the FBI in 2017. Comey has since delivered testimony before Congress and written a book that were both critical of Trump’s administration. Trump frequently references Comey in tweets, including the one Comey responded to from Thursday.
Trump, weighing in on his former associate Roger Stone‘s sentencing this week, compared Stone’s case to Comey in the tweet.
” ‘They say Roger Stone lied to Congress,’ ” he quoted. “OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI!”
“FAIRNESS?” Trump asked.
“They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.” @CNN OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
The Justice Department’s inspector general last year found that Comey violated bureau policies and his employment agreement with his handling of official information while director. According to the inspector general’s report, Comey shared unauthorized information about ongoing investigations with a friend. That friend later gave the information Comey shared to The New York Times.
Comey has denied that providing the information was a “leak,” saying he believed the information was unclassified.
Comey frequently uses his Twitter feed to respond to Trump, often by tweeting quotes from other people in reaction to news events. He told The New York Times last year that he hopes to delete his Twitter account once Trump leaves office.
Trump in his tweet also mentioned allegations against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired in 2018 after the accusation he “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.” The Justice Department’s inspector general found later that year that McCabe made unauthorized disclosures to the media.
Trump also frequently accuses Hillary Clinton, who competed against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, of mishandling classified information through her use of a private email server. Comey, in 2016 as FBI director, recommended no charges after an investigation into the matter.
Stone this week was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress and witness tampering. Prior to his sentencing, the Trump administration reduced its recommendation for the length of his sentence. The reversal followed Trump’s tweet questioning the fairness of the decision on Stone.
Attorney General William Barr denied that Trump influenced that decision.