Donald Trump accuses ex-FBI chief James Comey of illegally leaking classified information

US President Donald Trump made the accusations on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump made the accusations on Twitter.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - US President Donald Trump accused former FBI Director James Comey of illegally leaking classified information to the media, part of an angry, early morning tweetstorm on Monday (July 10) as the president faces new allegations about his 2016 campaign's contact with the Russians.

"James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media," Mr Trump wrote, referring to the FBI director he fired in May. "That is so illegal!"

Testifying before Congress last month, Mr Comey revealed that a tweet by the president - incorrectly suggesting he may have had taped his conversations with Mr 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 "Fox & Friends" clips Monday morning, including one accusing Mr Comey of having his friend leak top secret information, and another accusing the media of not representing half of the country.

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Mr Trump's frustrated, frenzied tweets 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 Mr Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Mr 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 also used Twitter to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to repeal and replace former US President Obama's signature healthcare 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 tweeted.

Senate Republicans left for the July 4 holiday after failing to hold a vote on Republican heathcare legislation.

The White House has signalled that if Republicans cannot successfully pass a new healthcare plan, the administration will pressure lawmakers to simply repeal the current healthcare law - and then, possibly, work with Democrats to write replacement legislation.