"President Trump is a selfish liar, and a vain one. Those traits, together, can cause chaos, as they did on Thursday, when, in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump undermined his own alibi for firing the F.B.I. director, James Comey. The official story had been that Trump was moved to act on Tuesday only after the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, came to him with concerns about Comey’s competence—specifically, his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Trump’s letter firing Comey said that he had ‘accepted their recommendation.’ Vice-President Mike Pence and other dependents repeated this story all day Wednesday, with Pence portraying the President as solemnly resolved to follow the best advice he had, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, throwing in some smears of Comey, who she said had committed ‘atrocities’ while at the F.B.I. and was disliked by its rank and file. Speaking to Holt, Trump stood by the smears: ‘Look, he’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander’; ‘I just want somebody that’s competent.’ But, when Holt asked him about heeding Sessions and Rosenstein, Trump seemed to bristle. Could Holt think that he, Trump, needed to hear what anyone had to say—that he had his mind changed by subordinates?"