James Comey Attacks 'Lying' About FBI Informants as Donald Trump Blasts 'Spygate'

Former FBI director James Comey defended the law enforcement agency's use of informants Wednesday, stating that attacks on the FBI could do "lasting damage to our country." Comey's comment followed a barrage of tweets from President Donald Trump about a "spy" infiltrating his campaign in 2016.

Comey, who Trump fired just over a year ago, explained how important informants were to the FBI as the agency deals with accusations of illegally spying or surveilling from Trump and his Republican supporters.

"Facts matter," Comey tweeted Wednesday. "The FBI's use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?"

Comey rarely tweets but since the release of his book last month and subsequent media tour he's often praised and defended the FBI, while questioning Trump's truthfulness and abilities as a leader.

The president began his Wednesday morning by blasting what he called the "Criminal Deep State," and dubbing the supposed scandal "Spygate."

"Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State" he tweeted. "They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!"

He also said the scandal could be one of the biggest in the country's political history.

Trump's latest attacks on the Justice Department and FBI stemmed from reports of a government informant making contact with several members of the president's campaign in 2016. The president has labeled the contact as spying, though no report has indicated the FBI was intentionally monitoring the Trump campaign.

In response to reports of the informant last week, Trump held a meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Monday at the White House to discuss the release of materials about the informant. The president had tweeted Sunday that he demanded an investigation into whether his campaign was spied on for "political purposes" and if anyone in the Obama administration had any involvement.

Trump and other Republican lawmakers, but no Democrats, are expected to meet Thursday with law enforcement officials to view information about the alleged informant, who some media outlets have named after previously opting not to in order to protect him or others from potential harm.

Former FBI Director James Comey talks onstage at George Washington University April 30, 3018 in Washington, DC. Comey discussed his new book 'Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.' Getty Images/Alex Wong