In alleged president Donald Trump’s letter firing FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017, he specifically said he was acting on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Deputy Attorney General Andrew McCabe. However, during an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt Thursday, Trump contradicted everything he previously said.
The former reality show star told Holt that he planned to fire Comey regardless of the Justice Department’s recommendation on the matter, which counters what the White House previously cited as the reason for the firing.
“I was going to fire Comey. My decision,” Trump said. “I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way.”
Amazing interview where Trump contradicts HIS OWN LETTER FIRING COMEY and everything the White House said yesterday pic.twitter.com/voFo9wfwvV
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 11, 2017
Holt then pointed out that in his letter of termination to Comey, Trump said he “accepted” the department’s recommendations to fire Comey.
“You had already made the decision?” Holt asked.
“Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation,” Trump said. “Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”
Trump went on to call Comey a “showboat” and a “grandstander,” then claimed that the FBI was “in turmoil” before Comey’s firing: “You know that, I know that, everybody knows that.”
Acting FBI Director McCabe: “Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI. And still does to this day.” pic.twitter.com/7OE5U5K4QW
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 11, 2017
Just as Trump said in his letter, he claimed again that on three separate occasions Comey told him that he was not under investigation by the FBI. That would be highly unusual for a president to ask and for an FBI Director to answer.
“He told me that,” he said. “I had a dinner with him. He wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on.”
“He asked for the dinner?” Holt asked.
“I think he asked for the dinner. And he wanted to stay on as the FBI head. And I said I’ll consider, we’ll see what happens. But we had a very nice dinner,” Trump said. “And at that time he told me, you are not under investigation, which I knew anyway.”
“But he’s given sworn testimony that there is an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government. You were the centerpiece of the Trump campaign,” Holt said. “Was he being truthful?”
“I know that I’m not under investigation. Me, personally. I’m not talking about campaigns, I’m not talking about anything else,” Trump said. “I’m not under investigation.”
Well, if Trump is under investigation, it would be very unusual for the man leading that investigation to give him a heads up. It is appropriate for a president to ask the director of the FBI if he’s under investigation? The timing of Comey’s firing is very telling. First, it was Preet Bharara, then Sally Yates then James Comey.
Featured image via screen capture.
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