President Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow claimed, without presenting evidence, that NBC edited a May 2017 interview in which the President said he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided to fire then-FBI Director James Comey.
Speaking Wednesday on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” Sekulow said the interview – in which Trump said he had made up his mind to fire Comey “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” – had been edited.
“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,” Sekulow said.
“And the evidence, when you look at the entire evidence, you don’t see it. I’m not faulting anybody running a clip … but to turn it literally into a federal case we don’t think is right, we don’t think it’s constitutional and we think the entire transcript – without question – supports the President,” he added.
Sekulow also said this point has been brought up in talks with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, but he wouldn’t give more details.
“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 said.
Trump has previously claimed NBC was caught “fudging my tape on Russia,” but there has been no evidence presented of the network doctoring the tape.
CNN has reached out to NBC for comment.
The network released both a transcript of the interview in May 2017 and an approximately 13-minute clip of Trump speaking with anchor Lester Holt.
During the interview, Trump seemed to admit he was thinking of the Russia investigation when he decided to fire Comey. The administration originally blamed Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails for his dismissal.
“He made – he made a recommendation, he’s highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, uh, the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him, uh, he made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it,” Trump told Holt in the interview. “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.”