Donald Trump's request to James Comey: Jail journalists

The president suggested that James Comey should jail reporters who publish classified information

Published May 17, 2017 12:23PM (EDT)

Donald Trump; James Comey   (AP/Jim Lo Scalzo/Jeff Malet,
Donald Trump; James Comey (AP/Jim Lo Scalzo/Jeff Malet,

Buried deep in Tuesday's bombshell report that alleged former FBI Director James Comey penned a memorandum detailing conversations in which President Trump requested Comey close the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, was an important yet overlooked sentiment — the president suggested that Comey should imprison reporters who publish classified information.

"Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates," The New York Times reported.

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The White House has denied the reports and has insisted in a statement that it is not "a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey" and that Trump has "never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn," according to CNN.

But this is far from the first time that the president has expressed cracking down on dissent. Trump has previously called the media the "enemy of the American people" and the White House has even suggested changing libel laws. The Justice Department has also condemned the publisher Wikileaks and is considering criminally charging its founder Julian Assange, even though Trump claimed he loved the publisher when he was on the campaign trail. Trump's appointed CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, has also branded Wikileaks as a "hostile intelligence service."

Despite the president's obsession with bashing reporters, Trump has completely failed at preventing his own White House from leaking like a seive, and also hasn't been able to keep his mouth closed when it comes to classified information. Reports this week allege the president revealed highly classified information to Russian officials regarding a sophisticated plot from the Islamic State. On Wednesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would turn over the transcript of the meeting to prove that Trump never passed secretive information.

By Charlie May

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Cia Donald Trump Fbi James Comey Julian Assange Michael Flynn White House Wikileaks