Donald Trump appears to inching closer to some semblance of the truth when it comes to this week’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. The White House line has been shifting on exactly why and when the president “lost confidence” in the FBI director just three years into what’s meant to be a 10-year term. During an interview aired Thursday on NBC News, Trump said he considered the Russia probe when deciding to sack Comey:
I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And 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.
It’s a subtle shift, but an important one. Trump’s admission that he contemplated the Russia investigation, which was accelerating in the weeks before, while deciding to fire the head of that investigation opens up a new frontier of questions regarding whether Comey’s firing constitutes obstruction of justice.