Former President Donald Trump said that firing ex-FBI Director James Comey likely saved his presidency.
Trump fired Comey in May 2017 amid allegations, since discredited, that the then-Republican nominee's campaign teamed with Russian officials to affect the 2016 presidential election.
"A lot of people say to me, 'How you survived is one of the most incredible things,'" Trump said during an interview to promote his new photo book "Our Journey Together" on Fox News' "Life, Liberty & Levin" that aired Sunday night.
"Don’t forget, I fired Comey. Had I not fired Comey, you might not be talking to me right now about a beautiful book about four years in the White House, and we’ll see about the future."
Trump critics had argued that firing the FBI director for investigating alleged ties between the campaign officials and the Russians would amount to obstruction of justice.
The allegations that the Trump campaign and Russian officials worked together to affect the 2016 election have proved to be false. The accusations were based on the Steele dossier, a compilation of rumors and unproven assertions.
"If I didn't fire Comey, they were looking to take down the president of the United States," Trump said on Fox News. "Some people said, 'He made a mistake when he fired Comey.’ And now those same people said it was the most incredible, instinctual moves that they’ve ever seen.'"
A little more than a week after Trump fired Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the FBI’s Russia investigation.
In September, Special Counsel John Durham issued a new round of subpoenas relating to his two-year inquiry into the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The new subpoenas came after Durham's charged former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to federal investigators at a meeting in September 2016.
Trump blamed the Russian hoax on former Secretary of State Clinton and her team.
"They made [the Trump-Russia connection] up in either her kitchen or a law office," he said during the Fox News Channel interview.
Trump also criticized the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for forwarding a copy of the "fake report" to the FBI.
"Great Republican he was," Trump said sarcastically. "Let’s take down the Republican Party."
Durham last month charged Igor Danchenko with five counts of making false statements to the FBI regarding information he compiled and gave to British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who used it in writing the dossier.
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