While taking questions at a Thursday afternoon joint press conference between President Trump and Colombian President Michael Santos, Trump flat out denied that he requested former FBI Director James Comey to end the ongoing investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
During the question period, a reporter asked Trump if he "urged" Comey to "close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn?" But before the reporter had the chance to finish his question, Trump interrupted him with an assertive "no" and said "next question." The same reporter then asked if Trump thought that he had done anything over the last year that was worthy of criminal charges or his impeachment.
"I think it's totally ridiculous," the president replied. He went on to say that Comey was widely "unpopular" and that he made the decision to fire the director on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's recommendation. However, shortly before the news conference began, Rosenstein informed the Senate that he knew Comey would be fired even before he had penned his recommendation.
"He learned [of] the president’s decision to fire him and then he wrote his memo with his rationale," Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told the Washington Post on Thursday.
Early on Thursday morning, Trump tweeted that he believed he was a victim to "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"