WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told reporters that he “never worked for Russia,” responding to reports over the weekend that the FBI opened an investigation into whether he was willingly or unwittingly working on behalf of the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I never worked for Russia, and you know that answer better than anybody. I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it is a disgrace that you even asked that question because it’s a whole big fat hoax. It is just a hoax,” he told reporters as he prepared to leave on a trip to New Orleans on Monday.
Trump also condemned the question of whether he was a Russian asset when he was asked about it on Saturday during a call in to Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show. “I think it is the most insulting thing I have ever been asked,” he said, before bashing the New York Times, which broke the story about the FBI probe. But he did not directly answer Pirro’s question of whether he had actually worked for Russia.
The Washington Post also reported that Trump had concealed details of his conversations with Putin, including an instance in 2017 when the president took the notes of his interpreter and instructed him not to discuss the meeting.
Trump told reporters on Monday that he didn’t “know anything about it,” and went on to say that the conversation with the Russian president “was a very successful meeting.”
“I have those meetings one on one with all leaders,” he said.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that Democrats may seek to subpoena the interpreter or the notes, as they had last year.
“Last year, we sought to obtain the interpreter’s notes or testimony, from the private meeting between Trump and Putin,” Schiff wrote on Twitter. “The Republicans on our committee voted us down. Will they join us now? Shouldn’t we find out whether our president is really putting ‘America first?'”