After firing James Comey as director of the FBI in May, President Donald Trump over the summer directed his frustration at the Senate, pressuring top Republicans in the chamber to end their Russia investigation, the New York Times reported Thursday night, citing lawmakers and aides.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who leads the Senate’s Russia probe as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the New York Times that Trump told him that he’d be happy to see the investigation end.
“It was something along the lines of, ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,’” Burr told the Times.
Burr said he told Trump that “when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish.” He told the Times that he was not moved by Trump’s comments and suggested that Trump made the comments because he’s “never been in government.”
The President also talked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of the GOP leadership team, about ending the probe, aides and lawmakers told the New York Times.
White House spokesman Raj Shah denied that Trump tried to pressure Republican leaders, telling the New York Times that the President “at no point has attempted to apply undue influence on committee members.”
Before firing Comey in May, Trump asked him to end a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Comey testified in June.
Read the New York Times’ full report here.