For the past several days, the Trump administration has repeatedly claimed that the president fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an active investigation against Team Trump for its alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, at the urging of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.Well, turns out that was a load of crap.
On Thursday, President Trump gave an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt in which he confessed that firing Comey was his idea all along.
“What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision,” Trump told Holt. “I was going to fire Comey… regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”
Enter Late Night host Seth Meyers who, during the latest edition of his must-watch “A Closer Look” segment, tackled the administration’s clear-as-day deceit.
“So he just admitted everything the White House has been saying since Tuesday is a lie. Trump’s ego is so huge he can’t even let somebody else have the spotlight in his alibi! He’s like a Scooby-Doo villain: That’s right, it was me! I was the ghost in the amusement park!” exclaimed Meyers.
There was, of course, a curious line in Trump’s letter announcing his firing of Comey where Trump wrote, “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” That line is pretty damning because it describes how Trump had repeatedly spoken with the head of the FBI about a potential ongoing investigation into him and his administration. The staggering admission recalls Bill Clinton’s infamous tarmac tête-à-tête during the 2016 campaign with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was in the process of investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Even though both Lynch and Clinton claimed that the talk was limited to their grandchildren and personal lives, Republicans—and Trump—pounced on Clinton for the bad optics.
“In one case I called him, in one case he called me,” Trump told Holt of his Comey conversations.“And did you ask, ‘Am I under investigation?’” replied Holt.“I actually asked him, yes,” offered Trump. “I said, ‘If it’s possible, will you let me know: Am I under investigation?’ He said, ‘You are not under investigation.’ And at that time he told me, ‘You are not under investigation,’ which I knew anyway. First of all, when you’re under investigation, you’re giving all sorts of documents and everything. I knew I wasn’t under [investigation].”
Meyers was, well, flabbergasted. “I guess there’s one upside to being sued as much as Trump has: He’s an expert at being investigated,” said Meyers, before imitating Trump: “Believe me, I know when I’m being investigated. In fact, ‘How to Know You’re Under Investigation’ was one of the most popular classes at Trump University.”“So, the White House story on why and how Comey was fired has now completely fallen apart, because while Trump contradicts his own White House, we’re also getting more reporting on what was happening behind the scenes,” Meyers continued.
Yes, late Wednesday The New York Times reported that Trump and Comey had disagreed over Trump’s baseless, conspiratorial claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him during the campaign, with the Times reporting that “Trump fumed when Mr. Comey dismissed the sensational wiretapping claim,” while Comey “was flabbergasted” and told his associates that Trump was “‘outside the realm of normal,’ even ‘crazy.’”