When Donald Trump fired James Comey, he produced a written statement that the reason for the FBI director’s dismissal was because he had broken with DOJ protocol in openly criticizing Hillary Clinton even though the agency found no reason to bring charges. It was a patently silly excuse, and Trump admitted as much the next evening when he sat down with NBC’s Lester Holt to admit that he had fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.
On Thursday morning, Trump accused Holt of having “fudged” that interview, but only three hours later, Trump was back on Twitter to do what he does best—the double-twisting lie reveal.
While the obvious thing here is that Trump is claiming it was not the Russia investigation that caused him to make his decision on McGahn, the less obvious thing is … what decision on McGahn? Because Trump had earlier stated that McGahn was leaving, not that he had been fired.
The announcement that McGahn was leaving came ten days after Trump stated that he gave McGahn permission to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Which came one day after reports that McGahn had spoken with Mueller. A lot.
So Trump said there was no problem with McGahn, and that he gave him permission to talk to Mueller, and that McGahn was leaving, and that he decided to replace McGahn, and that he was excited about McGahn’s replacement. All in one ten day stretch.
And he said it was not about the Russia investigation. That was at 8:17. Start the clock.