McCarthy: Russia Investigation Has Been About Trump 'From the Beginning'

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe R-Texas says his questions uncovered revelations that in May 2017 senior FBI leadership debated whether President Trump was directed by the Russian government to fire FBI Director James Comey

A US House of Representatives committee will look into a newspaper report the FBI investigated whether President Donald Trump has been working on behalf of Russian Federation, against US interests, the panel's Democratic chairman says.

"Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, nearly all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze!"

Comey at the time was leading an investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

On this weekend's broadcast of "Fox News Sunday", Sen.

"I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written", Trump said.

He said that the report only suggests that after Comey was sacked in May of 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department "very rashly" thought they found a crime of obstruction against Trump.

Opening an apparent counterintelligence investigation into the president raises questions about timing and the evidentiary basis. "America deserves the truth and the Foreign Affairs Committee will seek to get to the bottom of it", said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

His press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement Saturday that the latest charges are "absurd", adding, "James Comey was sacked because he's a disgraced partisan hack".

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

There is "no detailed record, even in classified files" of Trump's face-to-face meetings with Putin, the Post reported.

The Post reported that Trump has gone to "extraordinary lengths" to hide direct conversations he has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After a G-20 meeting in Hamburg in July 2017, the president took possession of his interpreter's notes and instructed the linguist "not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials", the Post reported, citing current and former US officials. But Trump pointed out that having discussions with world leaders is something that is normal and should not be scrutinized. Only Putin's interpreter was present for that conversation.

In his appearance on Fox News on Saturday, Trump denied that he was keeping anything under wraps on his meetings with Putin.

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"Why not release the conversation that you had with President Putin in Helsinki?"

"I would, I don't care", the president told Pirro.

President Donald Trump has avoided giving a direct answer when asked if he now is or has ever worked for Russian Federation after a published report said his behavior gave federal law enforcement officials reason to begin investigating whether he had worked for the USA adversary.

But it held off on opening an investigation until the president sacked Comey, who refused to pledge allegiance to Trump and roll back the nascent Russian Federation investigation.

He said the easing is a particular misfire "given Mr. Deripaska's potential involvement with [former Trump campaign chairman] Paul Manafort". "That meeting is up for grabs".

Reuters could not independently verify details of the Post report.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" and views it as an attempt to besmirch the legitimacy of his presidency.

"Every time Trump meets with Putin, the country is told nothing".

"My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me, and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation", the president said at the time.

"I have been FAR tougher on Russian Federation than Obama, Bush or Clinton".

" I would hate to see it", he said.

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