May 31, 2018
President Trump insisted Thursday he didn't fire FBI Director James Comey because of the Russia investigation, despite video and documentary evidence to the contrary.
Donald Trump says he didnt fire James Comey over Russia despite video evidence
"Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia!" Trump tweeted before taking off on a fundraising trip to Texas. "The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!"
Two days after the May 9, 2017, dismissal, Trump told NBC News that, while Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had endorsed Comey's firing, he would have taken the same action even without the recommendation — and he cited Russia as a a reason.
"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,'" Trump told NBC's Lester Holt. "It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
Trump's tweet came a day after news that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe authored a memo quoting Rosenstein as saying that Trump asked him to refer to the Russia investigation as a reason for recommending Comey's dismissal.
In any event, the Rosenstein memo referred only to Comey's overall management of the bureau, including his handling of the Hillary Clinton private email case.
Comey has said he believes he was fired because he rebuffed Trump's request to go easy on a central figure in the Russia probe, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Comey's firing is central to an obstruction of justice investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is also looking into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election in order to help Trump.
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