US POLITICS

Trump Says There’s ‘No Collusion’ Between Campaign And Russians

In an interview with NBC News, President Donald Trump also changed the White House's original narrative on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

US POLITICS
A protester holds a Russian flag with Donald Trump's name on it in Washington, DC. — REUTERS
May 11, 2017 at 2:50 PM ET

President Donald Trump on Thursday denied that his campaign had any contact with the Russians.

In an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt on Thursday, Trump said, “There’s no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians.” Trump added that the Russians did not impact the vote during the 2016 election.

The president denied having any investments in Russia, saying repeatedly that he’s “not involved in Russia.”

In a clip that was released ahead of the interview, Triump also said that he was planning on firing FBI Director James Comey regardless of any recommendations, a response that contradicts with the administration’s official statement on how the process played out.

Calling Comey a “showboat” and a “grandstander,” Trump told Holt that the FBI has been in “turmoil” for a year now. The president added that he was going to fire Comey, not basing his decision on whatever recommendations offered by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“What I did was I was going to fire Comey — my decision. I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way,” Trump told Holt. “I was going to fire him regardless of recommendation.”

That answer marks a departure from what the White House has said regarding Comey’s firing. On Tuesday, the White House released a statement on the decision, saying that Trump “acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

More Yes, Trump Just Fired FBI Director James Comey

When Holt asked about Trump’s statement on the matter, in which he mentioned that Comey reportedly told him three times he wasn’t under investigation, Trump said Comey told him once over dinner and two times over the phone.

“I said, ‘If it’s possible would you let me know am I under investigation?’ He said, ‘You are not under investigation,’” Trump said.

Trump’s comments came just hours after new acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the FBI would continue to move forward with its Russia investigation.

“You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution,” McCabe said, as quoted by NPR.

Trump said during the interview that he supports the bureau’s investigation and wants it “speeded up.”