President Trump on Thursday told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt that he was going to fire FBI Director James Comey regardless of whether his cabinet officials recommended the dismissal or not, the Daily Beast reports.
“Look, he’s a grandstander, a showboat,” Trump said of Comey. The original White House spin on Comey’s firing was that it took place as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommending it to the president. However, during his interview with Holt, Trump declared that the decision was made by him before ever meeting with his top lawyers.
“I was going to fire him regardless of recommendation,” Trump said. The president also defended his claim that Comey told him “three times” that he is not under investigation by the FBI, telling Holt that the ex-FBI head told it to him over dinner and by phone—despite Comey testifying under oath that there was an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russian officials.