Trump, who has repeatedly changed his tune as to why he fired Comey, bristled on Friday and boasted about letting the lawman go.”Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired,” Trump tweeted.
The President went on to accuse Comey of lying under oath, leaking classified material and botching the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
“It was my great honor to fire James Comey!” he added in a second tweet.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump at turns praised and criticized Comey for his involvement in the Clinton probe. Comey announced his recommendation that Clinton no face charges in July 2016, leading Trump to call the investigation “rigged.”
On October 28, 2016, Comey informed Congress that the FBI was reopening the Clinton probe following the discovery of new emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, leading Trump to proclaim that Comey had redeemed himself.
“It took a lot of guts,” Trump said. “I really disagreed with him. I was not his fan. But I’ll tell you what, what he did, he brought back his reputation.”
Following his win, Trump refused to say whether he intended to let Comey keep his job.
Jan. 6, 2017: Trump met with Comey and other intelligence leaders at Trump Tower. The sitdown covered Russian election interference and the salacious, though unverified, dossier about Trump’s alleged behavior in Russia.
January 18: Trump says Comey will remain as the FBI director.
March 2: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from federal investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged Russian ties after it is revealed he twice spoke with a Russian diplomat during the race.
March 5: Comey asks the Justice Department to publicly shoot down Trump tweets accusing former President Obama of wiretapping him. The department refuses.
March 20: In an unusual step for an ongoing investigation, Comey confirms to Congress that the FBI is looking into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. In the same hearing, he says he has seen no evidence of Obama wiretapping Trump.
April 25: The Senate confirms Rod Rosenstein as the new deputy attorney general in a 94-6 vote.
April: Trump meets with Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who both tell the President they have concerns about Comey. Trump then requests that the men “put that recommendation in writing,” according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Week of May 1: Comey asks Rosenstein for more funding for his agency’s Russia probe, according to The New York Times and CNN.
May 9: Trump fires Comey, citing Rosenstein and Sessions.
May 10: Trump tells reporters in the White House that Comey “wasn’t doing a good job,” and Vice President Pence says the FBI needed a “fresh start.”
The White House denies that the choice had any connection to the FBI investigation and says Trump wanted to fire Comey from his first day as President.
That same day, Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office that firing “nut job” Comey eased pressure on him, per the New York Times.
May 11: Trump said he would have fired Comey, even without a DOJ recommendation. He said he thought about how the Russia probe was a “hoax” before making his final decision, ripping Comey as “a showboat” and “a grandstander.”
“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,'” he tells NBC News’ Lester Holt.
May 12: Trump warned Comey on Twitter that he “better hope” there are no tapes of their conversations.
May 17: Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller, Comey’s predecessor as FBI chief, as special counsel for the Russia probe.
June 8: Comey tells Senate Intelligence Committee he was “confused” and “increasingly concerned” about the “shifting explanations” for his dismissal. He goes on to detail meetings with Trump and how he felt it necessary to document the encounters. He testified that he felt Trump was pressuring him to end the FBI probe into Flynn.
June 9: Trump tweets, “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”
Oct. 18: Trump tweets, “As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!”
Dec. 3: Trump tweets, “I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!”
April 12, 2018: Excerpts from Comey’s forthcoming book, “A Higher Loyalty,” describes Trump’s “mob”-like approach to his job and likens his presidency to a “forest fire.”