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FBI leaves door open on media impersonation

WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey is leaving open the possibility that an agent might again pose as a journalist as part of an investigation, though he says such a tactic ought to be rare.

Comey told reporters Tuesday that he was “not willing to say never” when asked if the FBI would forswear the tactic in response to an Associated Press demand made last month.

The AP sought assurances that impersonation would not be used again following revelations that an agent in Seattle portrayed himself as an AP journalist in 2007 during an investigation.

Comey said that, as far as he knew, no similar episode has occurred since. He said he still believed it was appropriate in that instance.

ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press