It looks like Trump’s private lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is correct in his statement where he declares that the NY Times was quoting from the Comey memo the day before Trump tweeted about there possibly being White House ‘tapes’.
Just to make clear what we’re talking about here, this is the reference Comey made in the hearing about the Trump tweet, which inspired him to leak his memo:
Comey is talking about this tweet below from Trump on May 12, which he accurately stated was tweeted on the Friday after he was fired.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
This article from May 11th appeared in the NY Times, a day before Trump tweeted:
Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, James B. Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief.
The conversation that night in January, Mr. Comey now believes, was a harbinger of his downfall this week as head of the F.B.I., according to two people who have heard his account of the dinner.
As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.
Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.
The White House says this account is not correct. And Mr. Trump, in an interview on Thursday with NBC, described a far different dinner conversation with Mr. Comey in which the director asked to have the meeting and the question of loyalty never came up. It was not clear whether he was talking about the same meal, but they are believed to have had only one dinner together.
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.
The dinner described by Mr. Comey’s associates came in the early days of Mr. Trump’s administration, as the F.B.I. was investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign. That investigation has since gained momentum as investigators have developed new evidence and leads.
Now that we’ve seen Comey’s testimony, it couldn’t be more clear that this article was written based on the same memo(s) that Comey says he didn’t leak until after Trump’s tweet.
Did Comey authorize these ‘associates’ to leak this to the NY Times after he got fired? It sure looks that way. After all, he was fired on May 9, two days before the NY Times wrote this piece.