U.S. law enforcement officials became so alarmed by President Donald Trump's behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey that they began probing whether he had been working for Russian Federation against United States interests, the New York Times reported Friday night.
The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security, and they also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russian Federation or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.
The entire investigation was taken over several days later when special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 election as well as possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
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The Times reported that USA counterintelligence investigators were concerned that the president's actions were a possible threat to national security.
"I think we have wasted enough time on this witch hunt and the answer is probably, we're finished", President Trump said, though he added "I can change my mind".
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Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, was quoted by the Times as saying that the investigation seems to have gone nowhere.
"Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump's ties to Russian Federation 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 criminal probe had focused on interactions between Russian officials and Trump associates, and was originally in the summer of 2016, during the presidential election campaign.
'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.
In addition to determining whether or not the President was working for Russian Federation, the FBI also opened a criminal investigation to determine if the President's firing of Comey was obstruction of justice. He maintained Mueller's investigators should first give the report to Trump's lawyers for review.
In a statement reported by NBC News' Geoff Bennett, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted The Times report as "absurd". She also disputed that Trump had ever been soft on Russian Federation.