The FBI says it was unable to locate any photos of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE “hugging and kissing” after President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE claimed he could provide 100 such images.
BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold on Tuesday shared the Justice Department's response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he filed with the bureau asking for photographs of Mueller and Comey “hugging and kissing each other.”
The FBI said in response that its search did not turn up any records corresponding with Leopold's request.
The bureau noted that there are three categories of law enforcement and national security records protected from FOIA requests, but added that the disclosure “should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist."
Comey, who was fired as FBI director in May 2017, joked on Tuesday that his wife was "so relieved" to hear the results.
My wife is so relieved. pic.twitter.com/jYHFPXsanl— James Comey (@Comey) October 23, 2018
The Justice Department's response was dated Oct. 17, just six weeks after Trump claimed in a Sept. 4 interview with The Daily Caller that Mueller and Comey, who worked together at the FBI, are "best friend[s]" as part of a broader complaint about alleged conflicts of interest Mueller has in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
"He’s Comey’s best friend," Trump told the conservative publication. "And I could give you 100 pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other. You know, he’s Comey’s best friend."
The president has frequently railed against Mueller's investigation, claiming repeatedly that he did not collude with Russia in the 2016 election, suggesting the special counsel's office is biased against him and questioning why Mueller is not investigating Democrats.
Trump interviewed Mueller for FBI director after firing Comey last year, but ultimately appointed current FBI Director Christopher Wray to the post.
It's unclear if Trump made the decision before Mueller was named special counsel in May 2017.
Comey and Mueller have a working relationship dating back to the early 2000s, when they both served at the Justice Department.
There is no evidence to suggest that Comey and Mueller are "best friends" or that their relationship has influenced the special counsel's investigation.