President Trump on Saturday lashed out after a Friday evening report in the New York Times that US law enforcement officials "became so concerned by the president's behavior" in the days after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, that "they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests."
According to the NYT, agents and senior F.B.I. officials "had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign" but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.
What happened next? Well, a collusion narrative was born and carefully crafted as the paper explains:
The president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
The odd inquiry carried "explosive implications" as counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.
Even so, "...some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it."
Then, in paragraph nine we read "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials."
Or, as The Washington Examiner's Byron York sums it up: