President Donald Trump on Thursday reupped his claim that he did not fire James Comey because of the Russia investigation, despite having said in a May 2017 interview that he had “this Russia thing” in mind when ousting the former FBI director.
“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!” Trump tweeted.
It was reminiscent of a tweet the president sent last month: “Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!”
Trump’s firing of Comey laid the groundwork for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the FBI’s ongoing probe of possible collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russian officials meddling in the 2016 election.
The probe has vastly expanded under Mueller and now includes whether Trump’s firing of Comey and other moves amounted to obstruction of justice.
In a May 2017 interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, Trump contradicted other White House officials by saying the Russia probe played a factor in his decision to fire Comey.
“And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,’” Trump told Holt.