This Russia thing with Trump and Russia

The Post explains how Trump pulled the rug out from all the people who had been saying he fired Comey because the Deputy AG sent him this overwhelming memo and he leaped up and said “Fire him right now!” It never sounded very plausible, and the part about Clinton’s emails sounded even less plausible, but they stuck to it – until Trump stuck his lips out at Lester Holt and told a completely different story.

President Trump threatened Friday morning to end White House press briefings, arguing that “it is not possible” for his staff to speak with “perfect accuracy” to the American public.

Trump’s comments come after his description of his decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey in an NBC News interview Thursday flatly contradicted the accounts provided earlier by White House officials, including Vice President Pence, exposing their explanations as misleading and in some cases false.

And now he’s all petulant that the news media are reporting it. He wants his incoherence and impulsiveness and incompetence to be a SECRET.

The explanations for Comey’s firing from the Trump White House have shifted repeatedly since the move was announced late Tuesday afternoon, undermining the credibility of Pence as well as White House press secretary Sean Spicer, principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.

Initially, Trump’s aides said the president acted simply at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. After meeting with Trump, Rosenstein wrote a memorandum detailing what he considered to be mistakes in Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

All along, Trump’s spokesmen insisted that his decision was not shaped in any way by his growing fury with the Russia controversy, including the FBI investigation overseen by Comey into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election and whether there had been any coordination with Trump associates.

But then he went and said it did. On tv. In an interview.

Then on Thursday, Trump told NBC anchor Lester Holt that the decision to fire Comey was his alone and that he would have made it “regardless” of what Rosenstein recommended. Furthermore, Trump told Holt that he had been thinking of “this Russia thing with Trump” when he arrived at his decision to remove the FBI director.

“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,'” Trump said.

He says it at 1:20 on this clip. He does a little vignette of himself talking to himself – it’s hard to describe how smug and self-admiring it is. He’s the kind of guy you want to escape from if he corners you at a party.

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