The FBI had opened an inquiry into whether Donald Trump was working for Russians in the days after the American President fired James B Comey in 2017 as the top investigative agency’s director, reported the New York Times.
In May 2017, the US President abruptly removed the 56-year-old Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who was overseeing a criminal probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election that was won by the real estate mogul.
Quoting sources, The New York Times said that such an investigation against Trump that was started by the FBI carried explosive implications, as the law enforcement agents sought to determine if the president was knowingly working for the Russians or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
Investigators have to consider if Trump’s own actions constituted a possible threat to the national security, the paper reported on Friday.
“No evidence has emerged publicly that Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials,” The New York Times said.
“Agents and senior FBI officials had grown suspicious of Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude,” the paper reported.
The White House has described The New York Times story as absurd.
“This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack and his deputy Andrew McCabe who was in charge of the time is a known liar fired by the FBI. Unlike former president (Barack) Obama who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia, the White House Press Secretary said.
The FBI did not respond to a query on the alleged investigation against Trump.