FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia

FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia

The first was a draft of the letter Trump wanted to send Comey informing him of the firing, which the Times reports mentioned the Russian Federation investigation.

FBI officials were so alarmed by President Donald Trump's firing of Director James Comey and other behaviors that they opened an investigation into whether the president had been working against USA interests on Russia's behalf, The New York Times reported Friday.

The investigation - a dual counterintelligence and criminal probe - was launched after the president fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017, the Times said, citing anonymous sources.

The White House dismissed the New York Times report as "absurd".

Trump said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director failed to properly investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for government business.

President Trump took aim at his "Russiagate" critics on Saturday, tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia" than his predecessors, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, but adding that he expects to see "good relations" between the United States and Russian Federation "someday".

The president's lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani said that nothing came out of the investigation, but admitted that he did not know much about it. Ultimately, then-acting FBI Director McCabe took the extraordinary step of opening an obstruction of justice investigation even before Mueller was appointed, sources told CNN.

Comey's firing led Rosenstein, who had recommended the move, to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate any links or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Friday's remarkable report is sure to ramp up the pressure for a White House already feeling the heat from months of investigations. Once Trump became President, his firing of Comey added to the puzzling circumstances of his ties to Russian Federation. But the new revelation that there also may be a national security component to the investigation brings the country into shocking new territory as it grapples with Trump's relationship with a hostile foreign power.

While Mueller took over the counterintelligence case and combined it with his own investigation, the Times was unable to determine if he is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter.

But while Trump has slammed the probe as baseless, Mueller has issued dozens of indictments and steadily chalked up convictions of some of the president's close associates - including his former national security advisor, his former personal lawyer, and his ex-campaign chief.

"I have no concerns about Cohen at all because I can prove with very little effort that he is a total, complete and absolute liar", Giuliani said.

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