There’s one thing that US President Donald Trump wants you to know today, and it’s that he definitely “never worked for Russia”, amid reports the FBI is quietly investigating claims he worked for Moscow.
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on Monday, and working hard to to be heard over the whirring of a nearby helicopter, he denied any claims of influence held over him by the Kremlin as a “big, fat hoax”.
“I never worked for Russia, and you know that answer better than anybody. I never worked for Russia,” he declared before heading to New Orleans for an agriculture event.
“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.
“It’s just a hoax.”
Trump went on to assert that no president has taken a harder stance against Russia than he has.
“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,” he said.
His statement follows a New York Times article last week, which claimed that after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey, the law enforcement agency began investigating whether the president was acting in the interests of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The investigation was reportedly triggered by concerns that Trump fired Comey in a bid to kill off the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
Trump denies any Russian meddling in the presidential poll, and has repeatedly dubbed the allegations “fake news”.