The semantic gymnastics are classic.
(From The Washington Examiner)
On CNN, Comey expanded on why he does not believe that what he did qualifies as leaking. “I think of a leak as an unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” he said. That is clearly at odds with the general understanding, one shared by Cooper in his questioning, that leaks can be of classified or unclassified information. For example, the Health and Human Services secretary might be preparing a controversial proposal on hospital funding, and an adversary inside the agency might secretly give a draft copy to the Washington Post. That’s a leak, even though no classified information is involved.
But Comey insists he did not leak because the information in the memo he gave to Richman to leak was not classified. (There is some disagreement on whether that is true.) Comey also argued that giving the memo to Richman was not a leak because, “I was a private citizen — I was not an FBI employee at that time.” FBI officials are not allowed to disclose confidential information, classified or not, simply because they leave the FBI.