Maddow: WH Just Straight Up Admitted They Fired Comey Over Russia Investigation; "Defining Moment Of Trump Presidency"

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's 'Rachel Maddow Show,' Rachel highlighted what she said might be "the biggest story yet of this presidency": Comments made in today's press briefing by deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and by President Trump in an interview with Lester Holt about the firing of FBI director James Comey.

Maddow explains: "For the last couple days, they made a half-hearted case that the president didn't fire the FBI director because the FBI director is leading an escalating investigation into the Russia scandal. The biggest story in the country now, what may be the defining story of this presidency at least thus far, on even those half hearted attempts at pretense, now they are just going for it. It's like a dare. Basically they're saying now, yeah, okay, you got us. Yeah, we fired the FBI director to kibosh the Russia investigation, we did. What are you going to do about it?"

"We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity," Huckabee Sanders said at Thursday's press briefing. "And we think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen."

Related Video: Trump WH: By Removing Comey, Trump Encouraging Russia Investigation To "Be Complete And End"

Maddow says Huckabee Sanders' comments, combined with President Trump's elaboration in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt Thursday afternoon might be the "defining moment" of the Trump presidency so far.

"I said to myself -- I said, you 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 that they should've won," Trump said in his interview with NBC's Holt. "I was going to fire Comey. There's no good time to do it, by the way."

"A lot of people are looking at that clip, that tape, that statement by the president as if what he said there was like almost an accident. What he said there does not appear to have been an accident... That's just the way he talks," Maddow said about Trump's comments. "He said it calmly, he knew what he was saying, and he isn't the only one who said that today."

"'By removing director Comey we have taken steps to make this happen.' That's why we removed Director Comey," Maddow said, before showing a video of Sarah Huckabee Sanders fleeing from a follow-up question about the above link.

"So a lot of people are talking about obstruction of justice today. If the president did do what he said he did -- if he removed the director of the FBI because he wanted to affect the FBi's investigation into [him]

"That's the kind of example you might make up if you were teaching a low-level class on obstruction of justice, and you wanted to give your students a crystal clear example of what that looked like in a banana republic," Maddow observed about Trump's actions. "As far as that goes, the remedy for obstruction of justice when it comes to a president-- There is only one remedy for this: impeachment."

"Really. The only remedy for this is impeachent, and raise your hand if you think this Republican Congress is going to take up impeachment proceedings against the president... really..."

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