The White House lashed out against “disgraced partisan hack” James Comey and “known liar” Andrew McCabe on Friday after a report that the FBI -- after President Trump fired Comey as the bureau's director -- opened a secret inquiry into whether Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.
The allegation of the FBI opening a counterintelligence investigation into Trump may cause a further rift between the bureau and the president, who in the past has criticized the agency’s senior leadership, alleging an anti-Trump bias.
Among those FBI officials accused of bias were former senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, who was fired amid revelations of his anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with another FBI official, Lisa Page.
According to the Times, senior FBI officials became suspicious of Trump and his alleged ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign but decided not to pursue an investigation at the time.
Former law enforcement officials told the newspaper that the criminal and counterintelligence elements of the investigation were combined because Trump’s firing of the FBI director could constitute both a crime and a national security threat as it would hinder the agency’s abilities to learn how the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election.