WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump firmly denied Monday that he has ever worked on behalf of Russia, a rejection that comes after the New York Times reported that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the issue last year.
“I never worked for Russia,” Trump said on the White House’s South Lawn as he departed for New Orleans. “It’s a whole big fat hoax. It’s just a hoax.”
Trump scolded the reporter who asked, saying that it was “a disgrace that you even asked that question.”
On Friday, the Times reported that an investigation into Trump was opened after the president fired former FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2018.
When asked during an appearance on Fox News the following night if he worked for Russia, Trump failed to directly answer the question.
“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” Trump told Fox host Jeanine Pirro. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing.”
Trump has routinely maintained that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government, a prospect that is currently being probed by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
On Monday, the president dismissed the reports of the FBI investigation as a partisan exercise carried out by “dirty cops.”
Trump pointed fingers at former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page.
Later, Trump is scheduled to speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th annual convention in the Crescent City.