Transcript for Trump defends private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin
tonight, the report that broke over the weekend, that the FBI reportedly opened a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting president, concerned that president trump could be working for Russia. Well, today, he was asked, did you ever work for Russia? And the furious president responded. Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: Tonight, a flat denial from the president of the United States. He is not and has never been a Russian agent. I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even ask that question. Because it's a whole big fat hoax. It's just a hoax. Reporter: "The New York Times" reports that shortly after the president fired James Comey, the FBI started a counterintelligence investigation to see if trump himself was operating as a Russian agent. "The times" reports the investigation was prompted in part by the president's own public statements about why he fired Comey. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with trump and Russia is a made-up story. Reporter: The president is also now defending his private conversations with Russian president Vladimir Putin. After their two-hour meeting in Helsinki last year, he seemed to accept Putin's denial that Russia meddled in the election. My people came to me. Dan coats came to me and some others, they said, they think it's Russia. I have president Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be. Reporter: Now "The Washington post" is reporting the president went to great lengths to conceal the details of his conversations with Putin, at one point, taking notes away from a U.S. Translator after a meeting in July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. The president told Fox News he would have no problem releasing the information. I would. I don't care. I mean, I had a conversation like every president does. We had a great conversation. I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less. All of this believed to be part of the Mueller investigation now. Jon Karl at the white house. And Jon, confirmation hearing are set to begin tomorrow for the president's attorney general nominee, William Barr, and he'll be pressed on whether he'll protect the Mueller investigation if he becomes A.G. Reporter: Absolutely. Because Barr, in the past, has been quite critical of the Mueller investigation. He's released his opening statement, in which he vows he will not interfere with the Mueller investigation, saying, quote, it is vitally important that the special counsel be allowed to complete his investigation. And David, he also says it's important that both congress and the public be informed of the results of that investigation. All right, Jon Karl with news before the confirmation hearings again. Jon, thank you.
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