A defiant President Donald Trump denied he ever pressured FBI Director James Comey to back off his agency’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Asked whether he “urged” Comey to “close or back down” the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump didn’t even wait for the reporter to finish asking the question before shutting him down.
“No. No. Next question,” Trump said.
The answer soon rippled through social media as “No. No. Next” became a trending topic on Twitter.
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Comey said Trump asked him in February to end the Flynn investigation — and recorded it in a memo at the time.
On Twitter early Thursday morning, Trump cried “witch hunt” about the Justice Department’s appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special counsel in the Russia investigation. During Tuesday’s joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump echoed his tweets.
“I respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion between — certainly myself and my campaign, but I can only speak for myself and the Russians. Zero,” Trump said. “Believe me, there’s no collusion. Russia is fine but whether it’s Russia or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America.”
The president also reiterated previous claims that he fired Comey because he “wasn’t doing a good job.”