White House lashes out after reports FBI probed whether President Trump was working on behalf of Russia against U.S. interests

White House officials slammed two former FBI leaders after reports that the agency opened a secret inquiry into whether President Donald Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.

In the days after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to a report in The New York Times and later confirmed by CNN.

Counterintelligence investigators were reportedly considering whether Trump’s actions constituted a national security threat.

Ultimately, then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe took the unusual step of opening an obstruction of justice investigation in May 2017 — even before Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by Trump’s Department of Justice.

In response to the reports, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement calling concerns over Trump’s actions “absurd.”

“James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack, and his Deputy Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI,” Sanders stated.

Trump has given conflicting reasons for firing Comey, and noting to NBC News’ Lester Holt that his frustration with a probe into ties between his campaign and Russian during the 2016 election played a part.

The president described Comey as a liar and sleaze in a tweet sent Saturday morning.