Trump reportedly asked Comey to consider imprisoning members of the press
Todd Haselton cnbc.com
The New York Times delivered a bombshell report — also confirmed by NBC News — on Tuesday evening that revealed that former FBI director James Comey wrote in a memo that President Donald Trump asked him to drop the bureau's investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Buried in the Times report is a note that Trump asked Comey to consider imprisoning reporters for publishing 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 said.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has since responded to those comments, noting that the "President doesn't get to jail journalists."
It's worth noting that Trump has complained about leaks in the press quite frequently, both while in office and during his time on the campaign trail. His concerns surfaced again earlier this week after another report revealed that Trump discussed highly classified information while Russian diplomats were visiting the White House.
Trump often speaks in hyperbolic language, however, which means he may not have necessarily expected Comey to ever imprison members of the press, despite what sounds like a rather frightening suggestion.
Trump also regularly makes himself available to the press, often speaking to reporters and appearing in televised interviews.
NBC News has verified information from the original New York Times report with two separate sources.