Trump admits he asked Comey if he was under investigation

President Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview Thursday with NBC News' Lester Holt, called ousted FBI chief James Comey a "showboat" and revealed he asked Comey whether he was under investigation for alleged ties to Russia.

"I actually asked him" if I was under investigation, Trump said, noting that he spoke with Comey once over dinner and twice by phone.

"I said, if it's possible would you let me know, 'Am I under investigation? He said, 'You are not under investigation'."

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to meet in July, Russian media says

"I know I'm not under investigation," Trump told Holt during the White House interview.

It would be highly unusual for someone who might be the focus of an FBI probe to ask whether he were under investigation and to be directly told by the FBI director that he was not under investigation.

Tune into NBC Nightly News at 6:30 p.m. ET to see more of Holt's exclusive interview with Trump.

RELATED: Trump meets with Russian foreign minister after firing Comey

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Trump meets with Lavrov and Kislyak
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Trump meets with Lavrov and Kislyak
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak (L-R) talking during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (R) speaks with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak during talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not inpicture) in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: (AFP-OUT) President Donald Trump meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office at the White House on May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States shakes hands with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as they meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak during talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not in picture) in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives at the White House for talks with US President Donald Trump. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: (AFP-OUT) President Donald Trump meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office at the White House on May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and President Donald Trump of the United States meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) leaves the White House May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lavrov met with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss Ukraine, Syria and other bilaterial subjects, according to the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L-R) meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak (L-R) talking during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Trump also reiterated his claim that he had been planning to fire Comey even before he received Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's recommendation.

"He's a showboat, he's grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil," Trump said of Comey in his wide-ranging interview with Holt. "You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that."

SEE ALSO: FBI's acting director rebukes White House claim that the FBI 'lost confidence' in Comey

Trump said he never tried to pressure Comey into dropping the FBI probe of the Trump campaign and insisted, "I want to find out if there was a problem in the election having to do with Russia."

Asked by Holt if by firing Comey he was trying to send a "lay off" message to his successor, Trump said, "I'm not."

"If Russia did anything, I want to know that," he said.

But Trump also insisted there was no "collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians. "

"Also, the Russians did not affect the vote," he said.

Comey through the years:

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James Comey through the years
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James Comey through the years
FBI Director James Comey waits before testifying at a House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
UNITED STATES - JUNE 14: Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey speaks at a conference at the Bloomberg News Bureau in Washington DC June 14, 2004. (Photo by Ken Cedeno/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama announces James Comey (L), a Republican who served in the Bush Justice Department, as his choice to replace Robert Mueller as the next FBI director, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: US Deputy Attorney General James Comey (L) and FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Gary Bald take questions 05 August, 2004, at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, after announcing that two men from Albany, New York, were arrested charging each with concealing material support for terrorism and participating in a money laundering conspiracy. Mosque Imam Yassin Aref, 34, and mosque founder Mohammed Hoosain, 49, were arrested following a raid on an Albany mosque late 04 August. Officials said the two men had agreed to launder money to help a presumed terrorist, actually an undercover FBI agent, buy a shoulder-fired missile. AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: James Comey (L) FBI Director nominee walks with outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (R) to a ceremony annoucing Comey's nomination in the Rose Garden at the White House June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. Comey, a former Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, would replace Mueller. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
James Comey, U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee as director of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrives to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Comey, the nominee to be the next FBI director, said interrogation techniques such as waterboarding used during his time in President George W. Bush's administration constitute torture and are illegal. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FBI Director James Comey, right, talks to Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, left, during a meeting in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. Photo: Rodrigo Garcia/NurPhoto (Photo by NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images)
FBI Director James B. Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 20: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey speaks during a press conference at the conclusion of a visit to the Denver FBI Field Office on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. Director Comey's visit to the Denver FBI Field Office is part of his plan to visit all FBI Field Offices in his first year as director. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
The shadow of FBI Director James Comey is seen as he addresses the audience during the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) annual meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC on November 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
FBI Director James Comey adjusts his tie before testifying to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on ?Russia?s intelligence activities" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the "Oversight of the State Department" in Washington U.S. July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: FBI Director James Comey arrives at the U.S. Capitol for a classified briefing on Russia for all members of the House of Representatives January 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The internal Office of the Inspector General at the Justice Department announced yesterday that it is conducting a review on the handling of FBI and DOJ's investigation into the Hillary Clinton private e-mail server case. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
FBI Director James Comey testifies to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on ?Russia?s intelligence activities" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L-R) arrive to testify before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. The intelligence heads testified to the committee about cyber threats to the United States and fielded questions about effects of Russian government hacking on the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JULY 8: Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey (L) announces indictment of the former Enron CEO, Kenneth Lay, while FBI Director Robert Mueller listens July 8, 2004 in Washington DC. Lay was indicted on 11 counts, including securities and wire fraud and false and misleading statements surrounding the collapse of the energy giant. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
James Brien Comey, Jr. (born December 14, 1960) is the seventh and current Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 31: Manhattan U.S. Attorney James Comey announces the arrest in Italy of alleged Russian mobster Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov on charges that he engineered the ice-skating vote swap scandal that rocked the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Tokhtakhounov allegedly fixed the Russian skaters' victory in figure skating in exchange for throwing the gold medal to two French ice dancers. Amid worldwide outrage, the Canadian figure skaters were eventually awarded a second gold medal. , (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: FBI Director nominee James Comey (L) speaks as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) looks on during a ceremony announcing Comey's nomination in the Rose Garden of the White House June 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. Comey is a former Justice Department official in the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 18: Manhattan U.S. Attorney James Comey during an interview wirth the Daily News. (Photo by Robert Rosamilio/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 08: The Honorable James Comey, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, is sworn in before delivering testimony during the House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act June 8, 2005 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Committee has heard from 30 witnesses during its 10 hearings this year, from both supporters and those with concerns over certain aspects of this anti-terrorism law. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
James Comey, U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee as director of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), laughs during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Comey, the nominee to be the next FBI director, said interrogation techniques such as waterboarding used during his time in President George W. Bush's administration constitute torture and are illegal. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JUNE 26: James Comey, right, President Obama's nominee as the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, meets with Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: FBI Director James Comey testifies during a hearing before the House (Select) Intelligence Committee February 4, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing to examine threats to the U.S. from all around the world. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
FBI Director James Comey (L) and US Attorney General Eric Holder announce a record 8.9 billion USD fine against the French bank BNP Paribas for violating international sanctions during a press conference at the US Justice Department in Washington on June 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
FBI Director James B. Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey speaks at the Intelligence National Security Alliance Leadership Dinner at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) sits with FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office in Washington after making comments to the media about shootings at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 08: FBI Director James Comey speaks at a cybersecurity conference at Boston College on March 8, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Comey, delivering the keynote address to the two-day conference, did not address recent claims by President Donald Trump that former President Barack Obama ordered a a wiretap of then-candidate Trump. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
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Holt's interview with the president came as Washington was still reeling over Trump's firing of Comey on Tuesday.

Trump insisted he canned Comey because "he was not doing a good job" and the White House on Wednesday cited the FBI chief's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as the reason they were firing the veteran G-man.

The Democrats, many of whom believe that Comey's intrusion into the election helped Trump win the presidency, immediately denounced the move and called for the appointment of a special prosecutor as New York Senator Charles Schumer suggested a "cover-up" was underway.

"The timing of Director Comey's dismissal to me and many committee members on both sides of the aisle is especially troubling," Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said Thursday at the opening of a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

SEE ALSO: Fired FBI Director Comey tells colleagues: 'It is done'

"He was leading an active counterintelligence investigation into any links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government or its representatives, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts to interfere in our election," he said. "We were scheduled to hear directly from Director Comey in open session today."

Earlier, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Trump "had been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected."

And Trump himself tweeted later Wednesday, "Dems have been complaining for months & months about Dir. Comey. Now that he has been fired they PRETEND to be aggrieved. Phony hypocrites!"

But while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came out in support of the president, several other key Republicans joined the Democrats in questioning the timing of the Comey firing, although they stopped short of joining their call for a special prosecutor.

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