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NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and former FBI Director James Comey. Photo via NBC Nightly News Twitter

Former FBI Director James Comey told NBC "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt in an interview that aired on Wednesday that he thought President Trump may have obstructed justice after his abrupt dismissal in 2017.

Details: In his first television interview since Attorney General William Barr released a 4-page summary of Robert Mueller’s report, Comey told Holt that he believed his firing was partly because of the Russia investigation. Barr has concluded that he will not pursue obstruction charges against Trump, saying that Mueller cleared him of collusion with Russia but made no further statements about obstruction. Comey did say: "It'll be important to read the entire report."

At the time of his firing, Comey was leading the FBI's investigation of alleged links between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. Comey was fired 8 days after Mueller's appointment.

  • When Holt asked if he sees the Mueller report as a rebuke of his leadership at the FBI, Comey responded:
"No, I actually see it the other way. It establishes to all people, I hope no matter where they are on the spectrum, that the FBI is not corrupt, not a nest of vipers and spies, but an honest group of people trying to find out what is true. And that's what you see here."

On Tuesday, Comey pushed back against Barr's decision not to pursue obstruction charges, saying: "The notion that obstruction cases are somehow undermined by the absence of proof of an underlying crime, that is not my experience in 40 years of doing this nor is it the Department of Justice's tradition. Obstruction crimes matter without regard to what you prove about the underlying crime."

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are now at their lowest levels in seven months, thanks to the vaccines.

The big picture: The vaccines are turning the tide in America's battle with the coronavirus. Deaths and serious illnesses have dropped significantly, and now cases are falling too — an important piece of protection for the future, if we can keep it up.

2 hours ago - World

India sets new COVID world record as oxygen demand jumps seven-fold

COVID-19 patients being treated with free oxygen at a makeshift clinic in Indirapuram, Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: Rebecca Conway/Getty Images

India has seen demand for oxygen jump "seven-fold" as the country set a new world record for daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, per AP.

By the numbers: India's health ministry reported 412,262 new infections, taking the official tally past 21 million, and 3,980 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The official death toll now stands at 230,168. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

4 hours ago - World

U.K. sends patrol ships to British island amid fishing dispute with France

The HMS Tamar, one of the two ships deployed to Jersey. Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it has deployed two Royal Navy patrol vessels to the island of Jersey "as a precautionary measure," as tensions over fishing rights escalate with France.

Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government took the action to protect Jersey against potential threats of "a blockade" of French fishing boats at the island, which is off the coast of northwest France.