Donald Trump Says He “Never Worked for Russia”

Meanwhile, the White House appeared to confirm Trump’s efforts to conceal his communications with Putin.

Evan Vucci/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

After spending the weekend failing to directly deny that he had ever acted on behalf of the Russian government, President Donald Trump on Monday morning offered his most definitive response yet, telling reporters outside the White House that he “never worked for Russia.”

“I never worked for Russia. You know that answer better than anybody,” Trump said on the South Lawn. “Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it’s a disgrace that you even asked that question, because it’s just a whole big fat hoax.”

The president’s remarks come on the heels of two stunning reports concerning Trump and Russia: first, in the New York Times, that the FBI in May 2017 had opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was secretly working on Russia’s behalf. The Washington Post followed with a story disclosing the extraordinary lengths to which the president has gone to conceal the substances of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rather than forcefully denying the report into the counterintelligence probe, Trump on Saturday lashed out at the Times, former FBI Director James Comey, and Hillary Clinton. Later in the day, during a phone-in appearance on Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, Trump seemed to dodge the question of whether he had ever worked for the Kremlin.

“I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written, and if you read the article, you’ll see that they found absolutely nothing,” Trump offered instead.

As for the Post‘s report detailing Trump’s attempts to conceal his discussions with Putin, Kellyanne Conway on Monday appeared to defend and confirm Trump’s actions, citing leaks from within the administration as a possible reason why he has kept members of his own staff in the dark concerning his conversations with the Russian leader.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend