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Trump denies ever working for Russian Federation, blasts investigators

15 January 2019

The question came after The New York Times reported that law enforcement officials began investigating, in 2017, whether Trump had been working on behalf of Russian Federation against USA interests.

"Not only did I never work for Russian Federation but it's a disgrace that you even asked that question because it's a whole big fat hoax", Trump told reporters on the South Lawn as he departed the White House to deliver a speech in New Orleans.

Trump also tried to defend his actions with Russian Federation, saying, "I've been tougher on Russian Federation than anybody else - any other - probably any other president, period, but certainly the last three or four presidents".

Trump's admission in the days following that Comey's dismissal had to do with the Russian Federation investigation, which Comey was overseeing, raised suspicions in the FBI, the report said.

The president pushed back on the Times' report several times this weekend.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that whether Trump ever worked on behalf of Moscow is "the defining question" of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's investigation.

When he was asked by a friendly Fox News interviewer on Saturday whether he was working for Russia, Trump offered a non-denial, saying only he was insulted by the question. Trump said her question was "the most insulting thing I've ever been asked".

In the inquiry, counterintelligence investigators sought to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security.

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"This is just at odds with how presidents have conducted diplomacy for decades and decades in the United States", said Washington Post reporter Greg Miller in a Sunday interview with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition.

Judge Thomas Ellis, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District, said past year that Manafort was punished to squeeze him to talk against Trump, Dershowitz said, and he agrees.

Whether or not Trump was acting in his own personal interest, rising to the level of obstruction of justice, is another matter that is also the subject of an ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump went so far as to take the notes from the interpreter who worked with him during a private meeting with Putin at the 2017 Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Trump said he simply had a conversation with Putin, as he would with any world leader. "I certainly don't know what happened there, what they discussed", he said.

Trump made the comments in a telephone interview late on January 12 with Fox News, after The Washington Post reported that the USA president "has gone to extraordinary lengths to hide details" of his conversations with Putin.

Trump has repeatedly denounced the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt", denying any collusion with Russia's attempt to sway the 2016 election. "And when you get outside the Beltway, I don't find anybody concerned with this at all", Cruz said.

"Instead, they were simply trying to undermine a president they didn't like and avenge Comey's firing".

Trump denies ever working for Russian Federation, blasts investigators