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Donald Trump's Russia claim contradicts, um, Donald Trump's Russia claim

On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump ...

Posted: May 31, 2018 9:19 PM
Updated: May 31, 2018 9:19 PM

On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted this: "Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!"

Some claims Trump makes are hard to fact check because they rely on subjective measures or are open for interpretation.

This is not one of those.

Let me take you back to early May 2017. In the early afternoon of May 9, Trump fires then-FBI Director James Comey.

The following day -- May 10 -- Trump meets with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. In that Oval Office huddle, Trump tells the two Russians this, according to The New York Times: "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

Then on May 11, Trump sits down with NBC News' Lester Holt for a prescheduled interview. Holt asks Trump whether his justification for firing Comey came from the memo on the FBI director penned by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trump says this:

"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've won.'"

Ahem.

There's just not a lot of gray area there. Especially when you consider this piece of information we've just learned about a meeting between then-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and Rosenstein, according to a memo McCabe wrote. Here's the key bit:

"In the meeting, Rosenstein said President Donald Trump had initially asked him to reference the Russia investigation. Rosenstein ultimately authored a controversial memo outlining the ways Comey had flouted Justice Department protocols leading up to the 2016 election but did not mention the Russia probe."

So:

  1. Trump told Russians the day after he fired Comey that he "faced great pressure because of Russia" and that pressure was lessened now that he had jettisoned his FBI director.
  2. Forty-eight hours after he fires Comey, Trump tells Holt that he was considering "this Russia thing" when he fired Comey, not the memo from Rosenstein.
  3. Rosenstein told McCabe that Trump asked him to mention the Russia investigation in the memo the President kind of, sort of hung the firing of Comey on.

This is an open-and-shut case.

Whether you think Trump fired Comey because he wanted to remove someone who was aggressively looking into troublesome connections between him and the Russians or he did so only because Comey refused to acknowledge that the Russia probe was a baseless witch hunt, it's impossible to conclude, as Trump did on Thursday morning, that Russia has zero to do with Comey's dismissal. Literally impossible.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848137

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164052005
Mobile743681384
Madison53497738
Shelby38435371
Baldwin38195589
Tuscaloosa36152644
Montgomery34562782
Lee25655264
Calhoun22630520
Morgan22530411
Etowah20069520
Marshall18846318
Houston17777426
St. Clair16958359
Limestone16195220
Cullman16157306
Elmore15940295
Lauderdale15069307
Talladega14260302
DeKalb13083271
Walker12168380
Blount10779193
Autauga10560157
Jackson10214196
Coffee9435192
Colbert9366210
Dale9044192
Tallapoosa7285202
Russell710065
Chilton7090170
Covington6969197
Escambia6967144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5801142
Marion5437132
Dallas5302210
Pike5129109
Clarke485786
Lawrence4850130
Winston4793110
Geneva4655136
Bibb435795
Barbour370680
Butler3444101
Marengo342993
Monroe338366
Randolph337867
Pickens334890
Fayette331785
Henry321166
Cherokee320364
Hale319189
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252969
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141840
Sumter139841
Greene130545
Choctaw94428
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