President Donald Trump repeatedly told reporters "I never worked for Russia" on Monday ahead of a trip to New Orleans, calling the question a "disgrace."
"I never worked for Russia, and you know that answer better than anybody," he said. "I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question, because it's a whole, big, fat hoax."
The question comes on the heels of a report of former and current officials telling the Washington Post that Trump had concealed details of his one-on-one meetings with Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin, and there are no detailed accounts, even in classified files, of those interactions. His allies told the newspaper that his caginess may be driven by trying to avoid the leaks that have plagued his administration.
Trump called the report "fake news" while at the White House on Monday.
The president has had to answer constant questions about accusations of Russian influence over him and his administration, amidst the ongoing special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia worked to boost Trump in the 2016 election, but Trump has long denied any allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia and called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt."
Asked Saturday by supporter and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro if he had ever worked for Russia, Trump called it "the most insulting thing" he'd ever been asked.
"I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked," he said. "I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing."
Trump is going to New Orleans to deliver remarks at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention.