Did you hear that?BREAKING: I was going to fire Comey anyway, Pres. Trump tells @LesterHoltNBC in exclusive interview at White House https://t.co/MAmo1PE1RL— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 11, 2017
The official White House story was that Trump was only responding to recommendations from Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
And that was repeated by various White House personnel, including Sean Spicer and VP Mike Pence.
As you might imagine this caused a virtual explosion on the internet.
Trump just took the White House's official account of Comey's ouster and lit it on fire.— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) May 11, 2017
Trump's statement he "was going to fire regardless of recommendation" contradicts every on-the-record statement from WH aides in past 2 days— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 11, 2017
PENCE yesterday: Trump chose to "accept" & "support" Rosenstein/Sessions rec.— Matthew Nussbaum (@MatthewNussbaum) May 11, 2017
TRUMP today: "I was gonna fire regardless of recommendation"
And believe it or not that admission was only one of the bombshells in this interview.Translated: Trump admits his administration has been intentionally lying to Americans for days. pic.twitter.com/T320IRO4nP— Jon Negroni (@JonNegroni) May 11, 2017
Courtesy of WaPo:
President Trump said FBI Director James B. Comey told him three times he was not under investigation — once at a White House dinner when Comey was seeking to remain in his post and in two phone calls, including one initiated by the president, according to an interview with NBC News. “I said, ‘If it’s possible, would you let me know am I under investigation?’ He said, ‘You are not under investigation,’’’ Trump said.
Trump said Comey came to eat dinner with him at the White House. “I think he asked for the dinner. . . . And he wanted to stay at the FBI, and I said I’ll, you know, consider and see what happens … But we had a very nice dinner, and at that time he told me, ‘You are not under investigation.’ ’’
The exchange as described by the president is remarkable since he said the FBI director was discussing an ongoing investigation with the president — something Justice Department policy generally prohibits — at the same time Comey was seeking assurances he would remain in his job.
That dinner was only one of the times that Trump demanded to know if he was under investigation, according to him he also asked Comey two other times on the phone and was told no both times.
Okay, why would you ask THREE different times if you were not worried that you WERE under investigation?
Now try to imagine how you would feel if you were being asked by the president of the United States whether you were investigating him or not.
If the answer was yes, would YOU answer truthfully?
Trump went on to claim that part of the reason that he fired Comey was this:
“Look, he’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander,” the president said. “The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that. I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”
While you are reading this please keep in mind the HUGE fit that the Republicans threw after learning that Bill Clinton boarded Attorney General Loretta Lynch's plane while the private server investigation was still going on.
This is a sitting president demanding to know if he is being investigated and then later firing the guy in charge of that investigation for no clear reason.
I patiently await the Republican outrage that is sure to follow.