May 11, 2017 / 5:18 PM / 2 months ago

Trump says 'his decision' to fire FBI chief, calls him 'showboat' - NBC interview

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at an event with veterans and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, aboard the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, U.S. May 4, 2017.Jonathan Ernst/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Thursday called James Comey, the FBI chief he fired, a "showboat" and "grandstander" and said in a NBC-TV interview he would have dismissed him even if officials at the Justice Department had not recommended it.

"He's a showboat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil," Trump told NBC in his first interview since his abrupt firing on Tuesday of Comey, who was leading an investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Moscow.

"I was going to fire Comey. My decision," Trump said. "I was going to fire regardless of recommendation."

Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; editing by Grant McCool

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