WASHINGTON (AP)– Law enforcement authorities became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s habits in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey that they began investigating whether he had been working for Russia versus U.S. interests, The New york city Times reported Friday.

The report cites unnamed former police officials and others knowledgeable about the investigation.

The inquiry forced counterintelligence detectives to evaluate whether Trump was a prospective danger to nationwide security, and they also sought to figure out whether Trump was deliberately working for Russia or had actually inadvertently been influenced by Moscow.

The Times reports that FBI representatives and some top authorities ended up being suspicious of Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 governmental project however didn’t launch an examination at that time because they weren’t sure how to approach such a sensitive and crucial probe, according to the sources. However Trump’s behavior in the days around Comey’s May 2017 firing, particularly two circumstances in which he appeared to connect Comey’s ousting to the Russia investigation, assisted trigger the counterintelligence part of the examination, according to the Times’ sources.

Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed unique counsel not long after Comey’s shooting. The general examination is looking into Russian election interference and whether Trump’s campaign collaborated with the Russians. The Times says it’s unclear whether Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence angle.

Trump’s legal representative Rudy Giuliani told the Times that he had no knowledge of the questions however stated that since it was opened a year and a half back and they hadn’t heard anything, obviously “they found absolutely nothing.” Trump has also consistently and vociferously rejected collusion with the Russians.

The White Home press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called the Times’ report “absurd” and said Comey was fired for being “a disgraced partisan hack.” She likewise challenged that Trump had ever been soft on Russia.

” Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign enemies press America around, President Trump has in fact been difficult on Russia,” Sanders said.

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