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

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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.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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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.

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