Comey lied and said Trump’s tweets caused him to leak to NYT through a Columbia law professor. The Tweets came after the leaks.
Comey memo leaked to Times – May 11 at the latest
Trump Tweets about tapes – May 12
Comey says that Trump tweet about tapes caused him to leak memos to Times –
Mr. Comey said he decided to make the conversation public through an intermediary after Mr. Trump said on Twitter that the former F.B.I. director had better hope there were no tapes of their discussions. He said he did so with the explicit hope of triggering the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russian election interference.
“I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night, ‘cause it didn’t dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration for our conversation; there might be a tape,” Mr. Comey said, referring to May 15. “And my judgment was I needed to get that out in the public square so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. So I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”
We just caught Comey lying
To people wondering whether the May 11 NYT story was based on the actual memos: this is from that article – 3 days before the tweets:
By Mr. Comey’s account, his answer to Mr. Trump’s initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said. Later in the dinner, Mr. Trump again said to Mr. Comey that he needed his loyalty. Mr. Comey again replied that he would give him “honesty” and did not pledge his loyalty, according to the account of the conversation. But Mr. Trump pressed him on whether it would be “honest loyalty.” “You will have that,” Mr. Comey told his associates he responded.