The White House has hit out at claims the FBI opened an inquiry into whether Donald Trump was secretly working for Russia.
Investigators reportedly became worried by Trump’s behaviour after he fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017.
The probe examined whether the US President was a national security threat.
But his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted: “This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack.
"Unlike President Obama... President Trump has actually been tough on Russia.”
The FBI counterintelligence probe was rolled into the ongoing Mueller inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the New York Times.
There was also a criminal element focusing on whether Comey’s sacking was intended to impede investigations into Moscow’s meddling.
But Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani downplayed the probe’s significance.
He said: “The fact it goes back a year-and-a-half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing.”
Meanwhile, the US partial government shutdown entered its 22nd day yesterday as Trump fights the Democrats for funding to build his Mexico border wall.