FBI wraps up Gabby Petito investigation, says Brian Laundrie sole person of interest
FBI unable to find photos of Comey, Mueller 'hugging and kissing' as Trump claimed
The FBI says it was unable to locate any photos of former FBI Director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller "hugging and kissing" after President Trump 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.
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.