“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!” he tweeted.
But that assertion flies in the face of past statements Trump made in explaining his decision to fire Comey in May 2017.
In an interview with NBC Nightly News last year, Trump claimed he decided to fire Comey because “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. ”
The president went on to characterize the Russia probe as “an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won … This was an excuse for having lost an election.”
At the time, Trump’s statements were seen as upending the narrative being put out by the White House that Comey was removed after a number of missteps going back to his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
The morning after Comey’s firing, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president had been considering firing Comey ever since taking office, but that he didn’t make the move until Tuesday because he wanted to give Comey “a chance.”
And Trump told White House pool reporters on Wednesday that he fired Comey because “he wasn’t doing a very good job.”
Sanders insisted Comey’s removal was not motivated by the desire to bury the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“Look, the bottom line is that any investigation that was happening on Monday is still happening today,” Sanders said on May 10, 2017.
A day later, during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump dismissed Comey as a “showboat” and a “grandstander” in the interview and revealed that he had asked Comey if he was under FBI investigation over dinner.
In the letter dismissing Comey, Trump thanked Comey for informing him “on three separate occasions” that he was not under investigation.
Trump’s tweet on Comey wasn’t his only comment on Twitter early Thursday, he also continued to rail at the media, repeating his recent assertion that spies were placed in his campaign.
“The corrupt Mainstream Media is working overtime not to mention the infiltration of people, Spies (Informants), into my campaign! Surveillance much?” the president tweeted.