Trump: 'I Never Worked for Russia'

By Susan Jones | January 14, 2019 | 7:00 AM EST

"I never worked for Russia," Trump said definitively on Monday, after telling Fox News's Jeanine Pirro on Saturday that he's "been tougher on Russia than anybody else," (Photo: Screen capture)

(Update: Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, Trump said, "I never worked for Russia. And you know that answer better than anybody...Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question, because it's a whole big, fat hoax.")

( - "So I'm going to ask you, are you now, or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?" Fox News's Jeanine Pirro asked the president of the United States on Saturday, one day after "The New York Times" reported that the FBI opened a counterintelligence inquiry into whether Trump was acting as an agent for Russia.

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded to Pirro. "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."

According to the New York Times:

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The article also says, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials."

On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that President Trump "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said."

According to the Post, "The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries."

On Saturday, Trump told Jeanine Pirro that the "failing New York Times" has "gotten me wrong for three years."

But you look at what's going on, you know, I fired James Comey. I call him Lying James Comey because he was a terrible liar, and he did a terrible job as the FBI director. Look at what happened with the Hillary Clinton and the e-mails and the Hillary Clinton investigation, one of the biggest screw-ups that anybody's ever seen as 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 in Russia, I've been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other -- probably any other president period, but certainly the last three or four presidents, modern day presidents. Nobody's 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 country with oil and exporting oil and many other things. So, which is, obviously, not great for them, because that's what they -- 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, because they said that was a step too far. They really are a disaster of a newspaper.

Pirro also asked Trump about the Washington Post report that says he went to great lengths to keep his private conversation with Putin secret:

"Why not release the conversation that you had with President Putin in Helsinki, along with some other stuff that might involve FISA, Bruce Ohr and the whole lot of them?" Pirro asked Trump.

Well, Jeanine, I would, I don't care. I mean, I had a conversation like every president does. You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries.

We had a great conversation. We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things. And it was a great conversation. I'm not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn't care less.

I mean, it's so ridiculous. These people make it up. "Washington Post", that's basically the lobbyist for Amazon. You know, he uses that -- Bezos has got bigger problems than anybody right now. But Bezos uses that as his lobbyist, OK, as far as I'm concerned.

And "The Washington Post" is almost as bad or probably as bad as "The New York Times." Think of it, I have a one-on-one meeting with Putin like I do with every other leader. I have many one-on-one -- nobody ever says anything about it. But with Putin they say, oh, what did they talk about?

We talked about very positive things because -- look, we are beating everybody. Our economy is the strongest in the world right now, Jeanine. Nobody even close. China's down 38 president. Russia's not doing well, its economy.

Most countries are not doing well. We're doing phenomenally. Even though we're paying interest rates because we're normalizing. You know, Obama had zero interest. Anybody can do that.

And our economy's now better than ever. We're almost at our high with the stock market again. So, it's really -- can you imagine where they say that I met with Putin, I met with every leader, just about, individually. I meet with Modi, I meet with -- in Japan, I meet with Abe. I meet with all of them, but nobody says anything.

But I meet with Putin, and they make a big deal. Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is open for grabs.

You know, the whole Russia thing, it's a hoax. It's a terrible hoax. You know it probably better than -- you, Gregg Jarrett, so -- Dan Bongino. People that look at it, it's a total hoax. Everybody knows it. And it's really a shame because it takes time, and it takes effort.

And everybody knows there was no collusion whatsoever. They have found no collusion, and they won't find collusion because I had nothing to do -- I was a better candidate than Hillary Clinton. She was a terrible candidate.

And the fact is, I was obviously a good candidate. I won every debate. I won everything I did, and I won, and I won easily -- 306-223, I believe. And that's a big difference in the college, in the Electoral College...So that's -- but it's really, it's really a shame, Jeanine. It really is a shame. Such a waste of time.

On Monday, cable news shows noted that President Trump did not outright deny that he has worked on behalf of Russia.

But Trump tweeted about the New York Times report over the weekend:

-- Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost 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!

-- ...Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie),....

-- ....the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop......

-- .....who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats - leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

-- I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

-- Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted:

--v“Gas prices drop across the United States because President Trump has deregulated Energy and we are now  producing a great deal more oil than ever before.” @foxandfriends  But this is bad news for Russia, why would President Trump do such a thing? Thought he worked for Kremlin?

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