They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. And a video — well, that’s gotta be worth a million words, right? That is, unless you’re Donald Trump. According to him, a video could be nothing more than fake news.
In an early-morning Twitter rant, President Donald Trump called out several of his favorite “fake news media” outlets and landed hard on NBC News. Trump made a damning accusation about an interview with Lester Holt that took place 15 months ago in May 2017.
At the time, Trump had just fired FBI Director James Comey, a controversial decision as Comey was leading the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. The president sat down with Holt to explain why he fired Comey.
Now, Trump says NBC News and Lester Holt fudged that interview.
What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2018
The president provided no further details or evidence that would lead him to the conclusion that NBC News or Holt altered or faked the video.
But one can’t ignore the significance of this particular interview. Many accused Trump of admitting to obstruction of justice, a felony, after sitting down with Holt. When pressed to give reason as to why he abruptly fired the FBI director, Trump said, “I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘Ya know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election.”
It’s important to also note that Trump has not been formally accused of obstruction of justice, or any other crime, after the interview or since, despite public opinion following his words.
However, Trump bringing the interview to light again more than a year after it occurred left much of the same public asking themselves, “Why?” They left their various — some serious, some not — theories on Twitter.
If anyone in the GOP had a scintilla of integrity, the 25th Amendment would have been invoked a long time ago. Overtly lying to US that he didn’t tell Lester Holt he fired Comey over Russia quite simply proves he’s out of his fucking mind.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 30, 2018
— JackiSchechner (@JackiSchechner) August 30, 2018
Nearly 16 months after Trump confessed to Lester Holt that he’d fired Comey over “the Russia thing,” he suddenly claims that NBC had “fudged” the tape of Holt’s national interview❗️This obvious lie is itself a confession that Trump now realizes the import of what he admitted. https://t.co/Hd3xtfHeOp
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 30, 2018
Trump admitted to Lester Holt last year that he fired James Comey because of “this Russia thing.” He can’t lie his way out of it now. That’s why he tells his supporters “what you are seeing and reading is not what’s happening.” He’s at war with reality. https://t.co/2AOZWM3PQZ
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 30, 2018
You FINALLY figured out that what you said to Lester Holt is obstruction of justice, didn't you?
— sempervirens (@krztfr68) August 30, 2018
I can't believe that you are now accusing Lester Holt of "fudging a tape". It's as clear as day that the tape is 100% legitimate! Besides, do you really think that Holt is also the network's video editor? You are going crazy!
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) August 30, 2018
In other words, the Lester Holt interview is significant.
— Sugar Booger 🐶 (@UselessEgg24) August 30, 2018
Ask yourself this: Why would Trump mention the Lester Holt interview from a year ago out of nowhere, and try to discredit it? Why wouldn't he have made that claim earlier?
Because someone told him that Mueller is using that interview to build his obstruction of justice case.
— Denizcan Grimes (@MrFilmkritik) August 30, 2018
Yup, that fits. The next Trump tweet about Comey comes after Morning Joe airs a clip from the Lester Holt interview.
Left, Morning Joe, 7:54 am
Right, Trump, 7:56 am pic.twitter.com/f0obkC3e6D
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) August 30, 2018
Maybe we are living in a hologram and it's running out of memory. There's a glitch in the matrix and the POTUS program is exhibiting loss of reality. "Lester Holt" pic.twitter.com/7U3B7Aq3p6
— David Reynolds (@Modemmogul) August 30, 2018
Lester Holt caught you on camera, admitting to firing @Comey because of the Russia investigation. You admitted to obstructing justice while everyone watched. There must be some big news coming out today for you to be complaining this much about the media.
— Jonathan (@jmillhouse) August 30, 2018
Now Trump is claiming Lester Holt interview was doctored?
Me thinks Trump is desperate
— Victoria Banville (@VictoriaBanvil2) August 30, 2018