Q: Did you ask Sessions not to recuse himself from Russia probe?— David Mack (@davidmackau) January 6, 2018
Trump: Everything that I've done was 100% proper. The story, by the way, in The Times was way off, or at least off. ...
Q: In what way was the story off?
Trump: You'll find out. But the story was off. pic.twitter.com/RD13wQ51Kt
President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE on Saturday pushed back on suggestions that he attempted to interfere with the Justice Department's investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia.
In a press conference flanked by GOP leaders at Camp David, Trump responded to a New York Times article that said Trump had directed White House counsel Don McGahn last year to lobby Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE not to recuse himself in the ongoing Russia investigation.
"Everything that I've done was 100 percent proper. The story, by the way, in the Times was way off, or at least off," Trump said in response to a question from The Hill.
"But everything I've done has been 100 percent proper. That's what I do, I do things proper," he said.
Trump's comments came after the Times reported Thursday that the president ordered McGahn to urge Sessions not to recuse himself in the probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The report said that Trump had also drafted a letter to now-fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign MORE, in which Trump called the Russia probe “fabricated and politically motivated," before being stopped by aides.
Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE, following Comey's firing, appointed 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 to investigate Russia's meddling in the election and ties to Trump's campaign.
At the press conference Saturday, Trump also asserted that claims from some Democrats about his campaign's possible collusion with Russia were now "dead."
"I guess the collusion now is dead," Trump said. "There's been no collusion between us and the Russians. Now, there has been collusion between Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Trump defends indicted GOP congressman MORE, the [Democratic National Committee (DNC)] and the Russians. Unfortunately, you people don't cover that very much. But the only collusion is between Hillary and the Russians and the DNC."
"But the story in the Times was off," he added.
Pressed on how the story was off, Trump responded, "You'll find out. But the story was off."
Mueller's team has so far brought charges against four former Trump campaign officials, including former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFBI agents swarm Russian oligarch's DC home DOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn and former Trump campaign aide George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI. Manafort, along with his business associate Richard Gates, was charged with money laundering and tax fraud.