Last year, Trump admitted he fired FBI Director James Comey to try to shut down the Russia investigation. Now, all of a sudden, he's saying his own story isn't true.
Trump has spent almost a year admitting that he obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017, but now he seems to be trying to undo that with a single tweet.
The new denial comes days after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway tried to revive the administration’s original cover story for Comey’s firing: that he was removed at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for his unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton while investigating her emails.
But just days after he fired Comey, Trump admitted the Rosenstein memo was a pretext. He told NBC News’ Lester Holt that he intended to fire Comey “regardless of recommendation,” and that the Russia investigation was at the top of his mind when he did it.
“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,” he told Holt. “It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.'”
He also told Russian officials, in a secret Oval Office meeting the day after Comey’s firing, that the firing had relieved the pressure from the Russia investigation.
Trump has spent a good portion of the year since Comey’s firing basically admitting to obstruction of justice. He has also complained repeatedly that Comey wasn’t tough enough on Clinton, undermining his own supposed justification for the firing in the first place.
Whatever decent legal advice Trump has gotten may finally be sinking in, but it’s too little, too late.