In the extended version of his interview with Lester Holt and NBC News, Donald Trump expanded upon his wishy-washy decision to firing James Comey and managed to throw more confusion into the mix. Not only did the president contradict his own staff and the Department of Justice by saying he had decided to fire the FBI Director with or without the recommendation, he went on to tell Holt that the driving factor behind his decision was the investigation into Russia:
I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact 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, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.
This goes against most of the narrative up to this point and shows that the Russia investigation is weighing on Trump’s mind a bit more than expected — even if he’s been assured at least three times that he’s not under investigation (as he claims). No matter, this slight admission might expose those legal corridors that would land Trump and his pals in hot water for firing Comey. Obstruction of Justice is not something to mess with. But on top of that, it’s more of this confusing babble out of The White House and Trump administration that seems to send reporters in all different directions.
Donald Trump talking about wanting the Russia investigation to continue the right way sounds a lot like Donald Trump wanting the release his tax returns once his audit is up. It’s an indication, at the very least, that you can’t trust a thing he says unless he’s actually doing it in front of you. He’s playing three-card Monte with the nation and forcing us to decide which piece of information is correct.
None of it is turning up for us yet, but we keep trying.
(Via NBC News)