President Donald Trump on Thursday again denied that he or his campaign colluded with the Russian government’s suspected attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
“Believe me, there’s no collusion,” Trump told reporters in the White House. “Russia is fine, but whether it’s Russia or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America.”
At first, Trump offered that there was “no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign,” then seemed to imply that he was speaking for himself.
“There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians, zero,” Trump said.
Trump reiterated his denial later during the press conference.
“Even my enemies have said, there is no collusion,” Trump said.
There are several ongoing investigations into the cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials that the U.S. intelligence community says the Russian government directed last year to help Trump’s standing in the presidential race. Those investigations, including one to be led by a special counsel named on Wednesday, are also probing whether any Trump campaign associates colluded with the Russians ahead of the election.
Trump also repeated his portrayal of the ongoing investigations into the issue as a “witch hunt,” though he said he respected the move to name a special counsel.
“I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt,” Trump said.
Trump is facing intense scrutiny in the wake of reports that he pressured James Comey, the former FBI director, to drop the bureau’s probe into one of his associates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump fired Comey suddenly last week.