Trump had Russia on his mind when he decided to fire Comey

The president made the comments during a TV interview Thursday.

Until this evening, the White House had publicly denied that Trump was considering the handling of the investigation into his campaign’s possible ties with Russia when he decided to fire Comey.

However, later in the interview, he said that he backs a full investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

“I want that thing to be absolutely done properly,” Trump said, but later adding, “There's no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians. The other thing is the Russians did not affect the vote.”

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted that the Russia investigation was a "total hoax" and a "taxpayer charade."

During the NBC News interview, the president was asked about these interactions, and Trump said again that he had directly asked if he was under investigation.

Trump responded, "I said, 'If it's possible would you let me know am I under investigation?' He said, 'You are not under investigation."

“I cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken,” Rosenstein wrote.

But Trump made clear in today's interview that the recommendation had nothing to do with it.

“I was going to fire Comey,” Trump said. “Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”