On May 9, 2017, Donald Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the investigation into the Russia scandal. Two days later, the president spoke with NBC News' Lester Holt at the White House and said Comey's ouster was driven by Trump's opposition to the probe.
"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," the president explained at the time.
Trump's claims didn't just contradict his own White House's official line on Comey's ouster, he also seemed to admit that his decision was directly related to the investigation into the Russia scandal, reinforcing concerns that the president may have obstructed justice when he fired the FBI director.
Three weeks ago, however, he dramatically changed course. Trump published a tweet that said, "When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!" (In context, "they" appeared to refer to NBC News, not the Russians.) It was the first time in the 15 months that followed the interview in which he'd taken issue with the exchange.
Last night, Jay Sekulow, a member of the president's legal defense team, spoke to CNN's Chris Cuomo, and echoed the claim.
"There is actually a transcript of the entire Lester Holt interview. And as you know -- because you do TV and you do a good job -- you know that when there are interviews, there are edits and there is a longer transcript.
"And I will just tell you without disclosing any detail that when you review the entire transcript, it is very clear as to what happened. And I'm not going to give you information on how we provided it, but in our professional discussions with the office of special counsel, we have addressed that on multiple occasions appropriately."
Sekulow added, "The entire transcript without question supports the president."