FBI search discredits Trump’s claim of pictures existing of Mueller and Comey ‘hugging and kissing’
The FBI said a records search was unable to corroborate President Trump’s recent claim that 100 pictures exist of former directors James Comey and Robert Mueller “hugging and kissing each other.”
Mr. Trump made the explosive allegation during an interview conducted with The Daily Caller last month, according to a transcript released by the outlet, and BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold subsequently filed a record request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking any photographs in the FBI’s possession as described by the president.
“The FBI has completed its search for records responsive to your request,” an FBI official wrote Mr. Leopold in letter dated Oct. 17 and shared by the reporter Tuesday.
“Based on the information you provided, we conducted a search of the locations or entities where records responsive to your request would reasonably be found,” the FBI official wrote. “We were unable to locate records responsive to your request. Therefore, your request is being administratively closed.”
Reacting on Twitter, Mr. Comey joked that his “wife is so relieved.”
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment, BuzzFeed reported.
Mr. Trump made the remark during an interview conducted on Sept. 4 while criticizing the federal investigation into the 2016 U.S. elections being led by Mr. Mueller, the FBI’s director from 2001 to 2013.
Mr. Mueller is “Comey’s best friend,” Mr. Trump said in the interview. “And I could give you 100 pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other. You know, he’s Comey’s best friend.”
Russia meddled in the 2016 race, according to U.S. officials, and Mr. Comey, Mr. Mueller’s successor at the FBI, was leading the government’s investigation into the matter when he was abruptly fired by Mr. Trump in June 2017. Mr. Mueller was subsequently appointed special counsel tasked with leading the FBI’s probe, and his team of federal prosecutors have reportedly widened their investigation to examine matters including Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey, and particularly the possibility of whether the president obstructed justice in the process.
“I consider it to be an illegal investigation,” Mr. Trump told The Daily Caller. “It should’ve never been allowed to have happened.”
Mr. Mueller’s office has brought charges against more than 30 individuals and entities since his appointment last year, including several Russian nationals in addition to members of Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign.