One of the New York Times reporters who broke the bombshell story on the FBI’s secret investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia after he fired James Comey explained how that probe differed initially from special counsel Robert Mueller‘s — and how it adds to what the public already knew.
“Our collective understanding, the public’s understanding of the Trump investigation [and] the Mueller investigation of Trump, has been focused to the past year and a half on the question of criminal obstruction,” NYT reporter Michael Schmidt explained to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes after the report was published.
“What we’re reporting tonight is the investigation initially … was much bigger than that was looking that question of Trump’s ties to Russia,” the reporter added. “What was he trying to cover up a relationship with the Russians? Was he working … wittingly or unwittingly working on their behalf? And this is the investigation they opened after Comey was fired. The other part was counterintelligence and national security investigation into the president’s ties to Russia.”
Schmidt noted that the type of investigation the FBI opened is similar to those the bureau opens for an agent or other government official they believe has been “compromised” by a foreign power.
The reporter also clarified, as per the Times‘ report, that the investigation was later taken on by Mueller when he was appointed in the days following Comey’s firing.