Trump Contradicts Himself by Claiming He Didn’t Fire Comey Over Russia

That’s the exact opposite of what he said on camera one year ago.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

President Donald Trump claimed in a tweet Thursday morning that he did not fire former FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation, despite having told NBC’s Lester Holt one year ago that the abrupt dismissal stemmed from exactly that. 

“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’ve won,'” Trump told Holt in May 2017, just two days after Comey’s firing.

In the same television interview, Trump also undermined the White House’s initial claim that the decision to sack Comey came from a recommendation from the Justice Department.

This isn’t the first time Trump has contradicted the explanation he offered to Holt. But Thursday’s tweet appears to respond to new reports that former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe wrote a secret memo detailing the events, including conversations he had with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, that led to Comey’s firing. That memo is reportedly now in the hands of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump’s apparent attempt to squash the Russia investigation only backfired, as the explosive firing has since become a central focus for Mueller amid questions over whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate