President Trump contradicts initial White House statements about Comey firing

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CHICAGO -- Local congressional leaders are weighing in on the firing of FBI director James Comey.

"I'm afraid many of our citizens have lost confidence in our government and what makes democracy work," said 7th District Rep. Danny Davis.

They echoed what other democrats are saying; special council should continue the Russia investigation.

"These are dramatic charges and we need to look carefully into every single one of them," said 9th Dist. Democrat, Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

This follows an interview with the president who makes it clear that Russia was indeed on his mind when he made the decision to fire Comey.

Trump tells NBC News that he was going to fire Comey regardless of what his attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended. This contradicts his letter in which he said he acted on the recommendation of the deputy attorney general.

His comments about the firing contradicts initial White House statements about how the president came to his decision. For two days, aids denied that the FBI probe had anything to do with it. The bureau is investigating Russia's impact on the election and any possible ties to the Trump campaign. The aids insisted that Comey's handling of the Hilary Clinton emails was the reason behind the firing.

During the interview, Trump called Comey a showboat and grand-stander. He also explained how he knows that the FBI is not investigating him.

In his letter about the firing, the president said Comey told him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation. The president told NBC that Comey did that once in person and twice on the phone.

Earlier this week, the White House said Comey lost the confidence of the FBI staff but acting director Andrew McCabe disagreed with that Thursday.

A New York Times reports may suggest the beginning of the end of Comey's tenure may have started months ago.

The Times reported that during a dinner in January, the president asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him. Comey refused and offered honesty instead. The president then asked for his honest loyalty and Comey said yes.

The White House disputes the report. A spokesperson said that president would never suggest the expectation of personal loyalty in law enforcement.