TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump said the FBI was in "complete turmoil" and called Comey a "total sleaze" and "crooked cop."
The president also blasted US Special Counsel Robert Mueller -- who is also a former FBI director -- as well the New York Times, which broke the story on Friday.
"Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!
"My firing of James Comey was a great day for America," Trump tweeted. "He was a Crooked Cop...........who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats,” he added.
He also repeated his long held argument that "getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the Times’ report “absurd” and said Comey was fired for being “a disgraced partisan hack.”
Comey responded in a tweet that quoted former President Franklin D. Roosevelt: "I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made."
The FBI investigation consisted of a counterintelligence and criminal aspect and was launched after Trump fired Comey in May 2017, the Times report said, citing anonymous sources.
The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to US national security, and they also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russia or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow, the newspaper reported.
FBI agents and some top officials became suspicious of Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election campaign but didn’t launch an investigation at that time because they weren’t sure how to approach such a sensitive and important probe, the report said.
But Trump’s behavior in the days around Comey’s firing, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey’s ousting to the Russia investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the Times’ sources.
Trump has slammed the probe as baseless and has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia to allegedly help him defeat former Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump has repeatedly accused Comey of lying to Congress during his testimony in 2017 when he detailed meetings in which the president asked for his loyalty and demanded he stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn over his alleged contacts with Russian officials.