Trump just conceded he was lying about why he fired Comey

In any case, Sanders basically said that the president fired Comey in order to end an active investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and a hostile foreign power.

To hear the president's spokesperson tell it, the two things are directly connected - which is deeply problematic because the White House is supposed to say they're not related at all.

In announcing Comey's dismissal on Tuesday, the White House said it was based on a damning assessment of his handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton's emails - but Trump told the NBC network that he was always going to dismiss him.

Trump has repeatedly surfaced comments critical of the FBI Director since the surprise firing shocked the country on Tuesday night, with suspicions that he had been terminated for the investigation into links between the President's campaign and Russian Federation.

Still, Trump maintained, "I know I am not under investigation".

Trump also said in the exclusive interview with NBC News' Lester Holt Friday that he fired Comey partly because he is a "showboat" and a "grandstander".

But Democrats question whether Trump removed Comey for conducting an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and Russian ties to Trump's presidential campaign. "When [Rosenstein] brought the recommendation to the president that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be removed, President Trump provided the kind of strong and decisive leadership the American people have come to be accustomed from him", Pence told reporters Wednesday morning. I returned immediately to Washington to participate in the discussion of whether we should quit in protest if we hadn't been fired.

"I know I'm not under investigation", Trump told Holt.

Trump claimed that he never tried to pressure Comey to chill with the Russian Federation investigation, noting that he wants "to find out if there was a problem in the election having to do with Russian Federation". "When you're under investigation, you're given all sorts of documents", he said. Those assurances came, according to Trump, on three separate occasions: over dinner at the White House when Comey told him he wanted to stay on as the agency director, during a phone call that Trump placed, and another time in a call from Comey to Trump. When asked during the first Republican presidential debate about having called women "fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals", Trump quipped, "Only Rosie O'Donnell".

A day after a White House spokeswoman called the FBI's Russian Federation investigation "probably one of the smallest things that they've got going on their plate, ' McCabe disagreed, calling it "a highly significant investigation".

Such a statement would have refuted a New York Times story from the previous day alleging that campaign advisers "had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence".

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