Trump Now Insists He Didn't Fire James Comey Over 'Phony Russia Investigation'

But days after he booted the FBI director, Trump said "this Russia thing" was on his mind.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Wednesday resumed his attacks on former FBI Director James Comey, and said he didn’t fire Comey because of the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia.

The claim appears to contradict Trump’s statement days after he fired Comey in May 2017. Trump at the time told NBC’s Lester Holt he had considered “this Russia thing” in his decision to boot the FBI head.

“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 told Holt.

Trump’s fresh broadside follows the release of Comey’s memoirHigher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, on Tuesday. Amid Comey book tour interviews and other publicity, Trump for days has been ranting against the former lawman, suggesting that he be jailed.