Federal Bureau of Investigation opened probe about Donald Trump connection with Russian Federation

In what appears to be a last-ditch Russiagate Hail Mary, the New York Times breathlessly reported on Friday - of course, citing people 'familiar with the investigation' - that the FBI began looking into whether the president was a covert Kremlin agent, after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. In addition to the Comey dismissal in May 2017, the President had raised concern in the Federal Bureau of Investigation for comments he made to Russian officials in the Oval Office about firing his Federal Bureau of Investigation director, according to the source familiar with the matter.

Although the FBI used Comey's firing as a justification for the investigation, according to the Times, at the time agents were already concerned over the president's links to Moscow.

"The idea that's contained in The New York Times story that President Trump was a threat to American national security is silly on its face and not worthy of a response", Pompeo told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan for an interview to air Sunday.

The president continued his critique of the story on Twitter by adding that "Everybody wanted him [Comey] fired, Republican and Democrat alike".

The Times reports that FBI agents and some top officials became suspicious of Trump's ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign but didn't launch an investigation at that time because they weren't sure how to approach such a sensitive and important probe, according to the sources.

The ex-national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his Moscow ties. It is not clear whether Mueller pursued the matter.

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

Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed special counsel soon after Comey's firing.

In his series of tweets Saturday, Trump claimed he has been "FAR tougher on Russian Federation than" previous presidents, and reiterated that "getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing, not a bad thing".

FBI agents were "alarmed" by Trump's behavior and chose to investigate whether the president "was knowingly working for Russian Federation or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence", the Times said, citing former intelligence agents and others familiar with the 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", he said.

Mueller is believed to be investigating whether Comey's firing and other actions amount to obstruction of justice by the president.

"We've really never had. a President of the United States who was considered to be possibly an asset of a foreign government", presidential historian Jon Meacham told MSNBC of the report.

Mr Trump has denied any complicity with Russian Federation, and called the Mueller probe "the greatest political witch hunt in history".


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