Trump admitted on TV that he obstructed the Russia investigation. Now he's claiming the infamous interview is fake. It isn't.
Trump now insists his most famous television interview as president was a fake.
That's what Trump frantically tweeted on Thursday morning, claiming that the interview he did with NBC News' Lester Holt on May 11, 2017, in which Trump admitted he fired then-FBI Director James Comey because of the unfolding Russia investigation, was somehow doctored by the news outlet.
But Trump is a chronic liar, and that never happened. There's never been any evidence, or even a suggestion, that Holt or NBC Newsmanipulated or fudged Trump's incriminating sit-down interview.
In that interview, Trump admitted that he intended to fire Comey "regardless of recommendation" from the Department of Justice, and that the Russia investigation was at the top of his mind when he did it.
"When I decided to just [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,'" he told Holt. "It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won."
In other words, Trump obstructed a federal probe by firing someone who was investigating him. And that is exactly what he admitted to Holt in that 2017 interview.
Trump's new claim that the interview was "fudged" represents the depths to which he is willing to sink to create his own alternate universe for his supporters, so they can all agree obvious facts don't exist.
Now, more than a year after the country saw the wildly damning videotaped interview, in which Trump clearly implicates himself in obstruction of justice, he is peddling the Alex Jones-like idea that NBC News altered the Q&A. And that Trump didn't actually say what he said.
With his new lie, Trump is also ignoring all of the other facts that have emerged in the past year about his firing of Comey. A week after the firing, for example, it was reported that Trump also told Russian officials, in a secret Oval Office meeting the day after Comey’s firing, that the firing had relieved pressure from the Russia investigation.
One month after the NBC interview in 2017, Trump threatened to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. It was only when aides impressed upon him how catastrophic that would be for his presidency did Trump relent.
It's almost hard to recall that at the time of the firing, the White House peddled the ridiculous cover story that Comey was removed because of his unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton while investigating her emails.
Of course, since then, Trump has ranted maniacally that Comey didn't do enough investigating into Clinton's emails, and that the FBI continues to fail to go after the "real" criminals.
Trump's going to have to come up with a better excuse than blaming NBC for his obstruction confession.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.