The FBI opened both a criminal and counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump after the firing of then-director of the FBI James Comey, The New York Times reported in a bombshell report Friday.
According to the Times, investigators also wanted to know if Trump was “knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
Trump fired Comey in May 2017, 10 months into the investigation into Russian meddling and its possible ties to Trump. The White House denied that the dismissal was related to the Russia investigation, although Trump later told NBC News that he had “this Russia thing” on his mind when making the decision.
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders later responded to The New York Times report:
“This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack, and his Deputy Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI. Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia.” Sarah Sanders”
Special counsel Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed soon after Comey's firing. The Times said it was unclear whether Mueller was still pursuing it.
The report, cites unnamed former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.