FBI investigated how Trump's actions seemed to benefit Russian Federation

FBI investigated how Trump's actions seemed to benefit Russian Federation

FBI investigated how Trump's actions seemed to benefit Russian Federation

The overall investigation is looking into Russian election interference and whether Mr Trump's campaign coordinated with the Russians.

Just under a year later, Trump tweeted that Comey wasn't fired over the Russian Federation investigation.

The counterintelligence part sought to establish whether Mr Trump was knowingly aiding the Kremlin against America's interests, or "had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence".

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Trump had ousted the head of the FBI to impede or even end the Russian Federation investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern.

The FBI eventually handed the inquiry over to Robert Mueller after his appointment, and it's not clear whether or not the same avenue of investigation is being pursued by the special counsel, according to the Times.

The White House too has now released a statement on the issue calling the reports "absurd".

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FBI agents and senior officials began to suspect connections between Trump and Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign but pushed off an investigation partially because they were unsure how to execute such a massive and sensitive operation, sources told the Times.

Comey spoke after a spurt of anti-FBI tweets from the president in December alleged that the investigative body abused its powers in probing his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In the interview Sunday, President Trump was asked whether it was his final position that he would not do a sit-down interview and would not give written responses to questions relating to obstruction of justice.

Comey was dismissed, the White House said at the time, on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It's unclear if Mueller is still investigating the counterintelligence inquiry into Trump. But, added to everything already known about contacts between Trump associates and Russian individuals - all of which were initially denied - this raises multiple red flags.

And Trump's former presidential campaign chair, Paul Manafort, has been convicted in one case brought by Mueller and pleaded guilty in another, over financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine before the 2016 campaign, and for witness tampering. Apparently, the bureau's knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, and Trump's July 2016 press conference request - "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing - wasn't enough to pull the trigger on an inquiry".

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