President Trump tweeted Thursday that he "never fired James Comey because of Russia" — despite past statements and recent reports that Russia did come into play.
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"Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia!" the president tweeted early Thursday. "The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!"
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
The tweet followed reports first published by the New York Times Wednesday of a memo written by then-Acting Director Andrew McCabe that detailed a conversation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding former FBI Director James Comey. A source close to the matter told ABC that in the memo McCabe described how Rosenstein allegedly told him Trump asked him to mention Russia in his May 9 letter recommending Comey's firing.
A representative for McCabe declined to comment for this story, and a Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last May, the White House said Trump used letters from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein that cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers in his decision to fire Comey.
But Trump later seemed to contradict himself in an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt when said he considered "this Russia thing" in making the decision.
“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,'" Trump said in the interview.
It's been over a year since Comey was fired and special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into possible Trump campaign ties with Russia.