Federal Bureau of Investigation probed whether Trump was Russian agent

Geneva Stokes
January 12, 2019

After his dismissal, Trump faced accusations of obstruction of justice, which loudened after he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director Andrew McCabe the following year.

The White House on Friday night dismissed The New York Times report as "absurd".

The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Mr Trump was a potential threat to national security, and they also sought to determine whether he was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.

Comey spoke after a spurt of anti-FBI tweets from the president in December alleged that the investigative body abused its powers in probing his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

There has been no public evidence that Trump was in contact with Russian Federation during the election campaign and Trump has long denied any illicit connection. But the president's activities before and after Comey's firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russian Federation investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Times' report "absurd" and said Mr Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack".

"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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Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, citing a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that sharply criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

'The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing, ' Giuliani told the Times.

She went on to say that Trump has "actually been tough on Russian Federation", unlike former president Barack Obama.

The Times reports that it's unclear if the Mueller team is still on the counterintelligence angle, and that former law enforcement officials believe that the agents who opened it may have overstepped their bounds.

President Trump has denied any collusion with Moscow and has called the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt".

In response to the events, according to the Times, the FBI began investigating whether Trump was a secret Russian agent.

CNN also reported that investigators are examining whether conflicting public statements by Trump and his team would be considered an attempt to obstruct justice.

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