In his letter to FBI Director James Comey announcing that he had been fired, President Donald Trump claimed that Comey told him three times that he wasn’t under investigation.
Trump was seemingly referring to the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s and affiliates’ potential collusion with Russia ahead of the 2016 election. On Monday, Trump said on Twitter that “[t]he Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax,” and asked, “when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”
Here’s what Trump told Comey — and projected to the entire world — in his letter firing him:
While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.
On March 20, Comey confirmed under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was “investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
“That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” he said.
Comey declined to answer whether Trump himself was under investigation. Indeed, that information would be a closely guarded secret — that’s what makes Trump’s clearing of his own name, using the ousted FBI Director’s credibility, so surprising.