Trump Contradicts White House, Says He Was Going to Fire Comey “Regardless of Recommendation”

He also admitted to asking the former FBI director if he was under investigation.


President Donald Trump disputed the White House’s initial account of the events leading up to FBI Director James Comey’s abrupt firing Tuesday, telling NBC’s Lester Holt he sought to get rid of Comey “regardless of recommendation” from the Justice Department.

“I was going to fire Comey, my decision,” Trump said in an interview airing Thursday evening. “I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way.” He described Comey as a “showboat” and “grandstander.”

When pressed about the administration’s previous narrative that Trump was operating under the recommendation of the Justice Department, Trump reiterated that the decision came from him.

“I was going to fire him regardless of recommendation,” he said. “He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”

Trump’s statements directly contradict the account provided by White House officials just hours before, in which they claimed Comey’s removal was the result of a recommendation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In a separate clip from the wide-ranging interview, Trump also revealed that he specifically asked Comey whether he was under federal investigation for possible ties to Russia. The admission will likely fuel concerns that Trump has interfered with the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which could include contacts between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

“I said, if it’s possible, would you let me know, am I under investigation?” Trump told Holt. “He said: You are not under investigation.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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