Washington( CNN) President Donald Trump said Thursday he belief the notion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election is a “made-up story” that Democrats are using to explain away his victory.

“When I decided to simply do it[ burn former FBI Director James Comey ], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing — with Trump and Russia — is a made-up story, ” Trump told NBC News in an interview. “It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.”

The President’s statements go despite widespread agreement among US intelligence officials and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle that Russia did indeed interfere in the US election.