Re­port: FBI probed if Trump se­cretly worked for Rus­sia

Hartford Courant - - World&nation -

WASH­ING­TON — Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials be­came so con­cerned by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s be­hav­ior in the days af­ter he fired FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey that they be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether he had been work­ing for Rus­sia against U.S. in­ter­ests, The New York Times re­ported Fri­day.

The re­port cites un­named for­mer law en­force­ment of­fi­cials and oth­ers fa­mil­iar with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The in­quiry forced coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence in­vest i gators to eval­u­ate whether Trump was a po- ten­tial threat to na­tional se­cu­rity, and they also sought to de­ter­mine whether Trump was de­lib­er­ately work­ing for Rus­sia or had un­in­ten­tion­ally been in­flu­enced by Moscow.

The Times re­ports that FBI agents and some top of­fi­cials be­came sus­pi­cious of Trump’s ties to Rus­sia dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign but didn’t launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion at that time be­cause they weren’t sure how to ap­proach such a sen­si­tive and im­por­tant probe, ac­cord­ing to the sources. But Trump’s be­hav­ior in the days around Comey’s May 2017 fir­ing, specif­i­cally two in­stances in which he seemed to tie Comey’s oust­ing to the Rus­sia i nves­ti­ga­tion, helped trig­ger the coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Robert Mueller took over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion when he was ap­pointed spe­cial coun­sel soon af­ter Comey’s fir­ing. The over­all in­ves­ti­ga­tion is look­ing into Rus­sian elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence and whether Trump’s cam­paign co­or­di­nated with Rus­sians. The Times says it’s un­clear whether Mueller is still pur­su­ing the coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence an­gle.

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