Another day, another revelation about investigations into president Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia.
In a phone call with FOX News, Trump blasted the notion that he is a secret agent for Russia, following a New York Times article which alleged that the FBI had investigated that very possibility in May 2017.
Presenter Jeanine Pirro asked Trump in the simplest of terms:
Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?
Trump responded by saying it’s the “most insulting thing” he’s ever been asked and rambled on for two minutes without answering the question with a simple "yes" or "no". He does however manage to talk about James Comey, exporting oil and, of course, Hillary and her emails.
I think it's 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... they've gotten me wrong for three years - they've actually gotten me wrong for many years before that.
But you look at what's going on... I fired James Comey - I call him lyin' James Comey 'cos he was a terrible liar and he did a terrible job as the FBI director - look at what happened with Hillary Clinton and the emails and the Hillary Clinton investigation... one of the biggest screw-ups that anyone has ever seen in an investigation.
And what happened after I fired him? Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, his lover Lisa Page... they did it. And, you know, they're all gone. Most of those people - many, many people from the top ranks of the FBI - they've all been fired or they had to leave and they're all gone. This is what they were talking about and obviously nothing was found.
And I can tell you this. If you ask the folks at Russia, I've been tougher on Russia than anybody else - probably any other president, period. But certainly the last three or four presidents - modern day presidents. Nobody has been as tough as I have from any standpoint, including the fact that we're doing oil like we've never done it, we're setting records in our country with oil and exporting oil and many other things, which is obviously not great for them, because that's where they get their money for the most part.
But many other things, so, I think it was a great insult and the New York Times is a disaster as a paper. It's a very horrible thing they said and they've gone so far that people that weren't necessarily believers are now big believers. They really are a disaster of a newspaper.
The article in question reported that the FBI opened a combined criminal and counterintelligence probe into Trump the day after he fired FBI director James Comey.
Apparently the FBI were curious as to whether Trump was acting on behalf of Russian interests by firing Comey. Trump said he fired Comey because “he was a terrible liar, and he did a terrible job as the FBI director”.
Crucially, while lashing out at the New York Times throughout the interview on FOX, Trump failed to explicitly deny that he had ever worked for Russia.
His lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times he was unaware of the FBI inquiry but said that a lack of information relating to its findings means “they found nothing”.
Trump has repeatedly denied collusion with the Russians when questioned on the issue with regards to Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe, which he frequently labels a “witch hunt”.