The New York Times is reporting that President Trump told Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting that he had fired FBI Director James Comey (whom he described as “crazy, a real nut job”) and in doing so had removed “great pressure” on him.
In attendance at the meeting were Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, as well as Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.
The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.
This is really wild, wild stuff, folks.