President Trump reveals he planned to fire Comey before DOJ recommendation Video

Transcript for President Trump reveals he planned to fire Comey before DOJ recommendation

Tonight, president trump explaining why he fired James Comey, and getting personal. Calling the fired FBI director a showboat and a grandstander. We learned today, the president says he asked James Comey, who was leading the invest gags into Russian meddling, if the president himself was under investigation. Tonight, some asking, should the president be asking the FBI director a question like that at all? ABC’s chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl leading us off. Reporter: Contradicting white house officials from the vice president on down, president trump today said he decided on his own to fire James Comey. Look, he’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that. I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. Less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that. Reporter: The president said he decided to fire Comey well before the deputy attorney general weighed in. He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey. Reporter: In his letter firing Comey, the president claimed the FBI director had told him he was not under investigation three separate times, including during a dinner at the white house, a dinner he said he believes Comey requested. He wanted to stay on as the FBI head, and I said, I’ll, you know, consider it, we’ll see what happens. But we had a very nice dinner. Reporter: The president said Comey also assured him he was not under investigation in two separate phone calls. I said, if it’s possible, will you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, you are not under investigation. I know that I’m not under investigation. Me, personally. I’m not talking about campaigns. I’m not talking about anything else. I’m not under investigation. Reporter: Isn’t it inappropriate for the president of the United States to ask the FBI director directly if he’s under investigation? No, I don’t believe it is. Reporter: One of these conversations the president said happened at the dinner, where the FBI director, according to the president, was asking to stay on as FBI director. Don’t you see how that’s a conflict of interest? The FBI director is saying he wants to keep his job and the president is asking whether or not he is under investigation. I don’t see that as a conflict of interest and neither do the many legal scholars and others that have been commenting on it for the last hour. So, no, I don’t see that as an issue. Reporter: The president’s words tonight, that he decided on his own to fire Comey, stand in stark contrast to what top white house officials from the press secretary to the vice president have been saying for days, that the president decided to fire Comey was triggered by the recommendation of deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein. He provided strong leadership to act on the recommendation of the…

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