President Donald Trump harshly criticized FBI leaders who opened an investigation into his alleged ties to the Russian government, while departing Monday for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual conference in New Orleans.
“I never worked for Russia,” Trump flatly declared, after days of incensed reaction to the Friday revelation from The New York Times that the FBI opened an investigation into whether he was working for the Russian government as president of the United States.
“Law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests,” The NYT said, adding that the investigation was prompted by the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his foreign policy towards the Russian government. (RELATED: FBI Reportedly Investigated Whether Trump Was Working For Russia)
Trump defended his decision to fire Comey in July 2017, saying that he was a “bad cop, a dirty cop, and a liar.” The president pointed out the near wholesale departure of top FBI officials like Comey, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok.
“The people doing that investigation were people that have been caught that are known scoundrels there. You could say they are dirty,” Trump continued.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway criticized the framing of the story Monday morning, telling Fox and Friends, “I think the headline could have said … no fruit came of it. Nothing came of it.”
Trump has been incensed about the story since its publication, telling Judge Jeanine Pirro that being asked directly whether he’s a Russian agent is the “most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked. 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, but the headline of that article, it’s called the failing ‘New York Times’ for a reason.”