Donald Trump has admitted the inquiry into alleged Russian interefence in last year's presidential election played a part in his decision to fire James Comey.
The former director of the FBI found out he had been fired by the US president from watching television reports - he's believed to have thought it a joke at first.
Trump defended his decision by saying Comey had lost the confidence of Washington, while Democrats have accused him of trying to deflect attention away from the investigation into alleged Russian hacking and any supposed links to the US administration.
Now, in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump has cited the alleged interference by Russia in an attempt to explain his decision.
Trump said he was thinking of "this Russia thing" when he made the decision to fire Comey, and said he wants a thorough investigation into Russia's behaviour during the election.
"When I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,'" Trump said.
"It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.' "
The US president dismissed the accusations made against him, saying he wanted the FBI probe done properly and he was going to fire Comey regardless.
However the FBI's acting director Andrew McCabe, vowed the Bureau will not be providing the White House with regular updates as to the status of the investigation.