"WASHINGTON — President Trump offered on Thursday a new version of his decision to fire James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, saying he would have dismissed him regardless of whether the attorney general and his deputy recommended it.
In his first extended comments on a move that has roiled Washington, Mr. Trump castigated Mr. Comey, calling him “a showboat” and “a grandstander” who had created turmoil at the bureau. But the president’s description of his decision-making process conflicted with the account provided previously by his aides.
The White House previously said that Mr. Trump acted only after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, came to him and recommended that Mr. Comey be dismissed. In the letter dismissing Mr. Comey that Mr. Trump signed, it said he was acting on their recommendation. And Vice President Mike Pence, talking to reporters, also said the president had been following the Justice Department officials’ advice.
But in an interview with NBC News on Thursday, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Rosenstein’s opinion had not mattered."