By ZEKE MILLER | The Related Press
PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump is trying to rewrite historical past on his rationale for firing James Comey as FBI director final yr.
In a Wednesday morning tweet despatched as Comey promotes his criticism-filled new guide, Trump says he “was not fired due to the phony Russia investigation.” However in an interview days after the sudden firing, Trump revealed that the probe into potential collusion throughout the 2016 marketing campaign was on his thoughts on the time he made the choice.
The White Home’s preliminary rationalization for Trump’s choice was Comey’s dealing with of the Clinton electronic mail investigation, and it launched a memo from Deputy Legal professional Common Rod Rosenstein justifying the choice. However two days after firing Comey, Trump undercut that rationale.
Within the interview with NBC on Could 11, 2017, Trump stated, “Actually, after I determined to simply do it, I stated to myself, I stated, ‘You already know, this Russia factor with Trump and Russia is a made up story.’”
Trump determined to fireplace Comey over the objections of his prime advisers on the time, together with chief of employees Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Comey’s firing, and Trump’s subsequent suggestion that the Russia investigation was an element within the choice, led Rosenstein to nominate particular counsel Robert Mueller to supervise the investigation. Mueller is now investigating the Comey firing as a part of an investigation of potential obstruction by the president.
In an interview with ABC that aired Sunday, Comey stated there’s “definitely some proof” that Trump had obstructed justice when Comey stated the president pushed him to take a lenient stance towards former nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded responsible final yr to mendacity to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the US.