WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he didn't fire FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation, despite previously citing that as the reason.

Trump tweeted Thursday: "Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!"

Trump fired Comey in May 2017. A few days later, Trump told NBC's Lester Holt he was thinking of "this Russia thing" when he fired Comey. The New York Times reported Trump told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office that month Comey's dismissal had "taken off" pressure he faced "because of Russia."

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, told Fox News Trump fired Comey because Comey wouldn't state "that he wasn't a target" of the Russia probe.