FBI investigated Trump's Russian Federation ties after Comey firing

President Richard Nixon bids farewell to the White House staff in 1974

But Trump's behavior in the days around Comey's May 2017 firing, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey's ousting to the Russian Federation investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the Times' sources.

The FBI has 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, according to a report.

According to the Times, FBI officials also opened a counterintelligence investigation around the time of Comey's firing, after officials were alarmed by comments Trump made suggesting Comey's firing was due to the original Russian Federation investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Times' report "absurd" and said Mr Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack". Trump also wrote that those who initiated the investigations, mostly former FBI leaders he has fired for "very bad reasons", did it with "no reason and no proof" as a response to his firing of Comey.

Trump went on to insist he has been "FAR tougher on Russia" than his last three White House predecessors-"maybe tougher than any other president".

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he didn't know of that probe while also downplaying it.

Comey's firing, rather than ending the Russian Federation investigation, led directly to the appointment, over Trump's objections, of Mueller, another former FBI director, to take over the Russian Federation probe. The FBI, however, apparently felt vindicated after Trump remarked that Comey's firing had helped relieve Russia-related political pressure.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller took over the counterintelligence investigation.

"I think this is particularly sobering, even for career counterintelligence professionals who always in the back of their minds think there is an outside possibility someone could rise to high office who might be playing for another team", Figliuzzi said during an appearance on MSNBC's AM Joy.

The investigation was one part criminal, into possible obstruction of justice, and one part counterintelligence, looking into possible national security concerns, the Times reports.

Among Russiagate's devout faithful, the report was treated as an earth-shattering revelation that reinforced their core dogma - i.e., that Donald Trump is a Kremlin agent installed in the White House by Vladimir Putin to destroy democracy.

Following this story, Benjamin Wittes, a national security and law journalist, published his own article suggesting that the obstruction may have actually been part of the collusion.

Russiagate disciples are squealing with joy after the New York Times wrote about the Federal Bureau of Investigation apparently probing if Trump was secretly working for the Russians.

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