President Donald Trump has complained that special counsel Robert Mueller is too close to former FBI Director James Comey to conduct a fair investigation. And now, he claims he has the pics to prove it.
″[Mueller’s] Comey’s best friend,” Trump told the Daily Caller. “And I could give you 100 pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other.”
Vox examined wire service photos and found no such images. A non-exhaustive HuffPost survey of images from Reuters and Getty also revealed no hugging and kissing.
The pair has enjoyed a close professional relationship, which dates back to 2003 when Comey was deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush and Mueller was the director of the FBI.
Both threatened to resign in opposition to a domestic surveillance program which was modified as a result, the Washington Post reported.
While there do not appear to be “hugging and kissing” photos of the president and his former FBI chief, Trump did make a gesture toward Comey shortly after his inauguration that many observers believed was an air kiss.
Comey claimed that Trump tried to pull him in for a hug as well, but he resisted and kept it to a handshake.
“He was not going to get a hug without being a whole lot stronger than he looked,” Comey wrote in his book, A Higher Loyalty. “He wasn’t.”
Months later, Trump would fire Comey, a move that ultimately led to the special counsel’s investigation.
In the Daily Caller interview, Trump again called the Mueller probe an “illegal investigation” and claimed that the special counsel’s office had “tremendous conflicts.” Trump also said he had a “real business dispute” with Mueller, an apparent reference to 2011, when Mueller resigned from a Trump-owned golf club.
According to the Washington Post: “Mueller had sent a letter requesting a dues refund in accordance with normal club practice and never heard back.”
In July, Trump called it “a very nasty & contentious business relationship.”