Citing unnamed former law enforcement officials, the paper reported on Friday that in the days after the president fired the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, law enforcement officials were so anxious about Trump's behaviour that they began investigating whether the president was working against American interests and on behalf of Russian Federation.
According to former law-enforcement officials and others familiar with the probe, the newspaper said, counterintelligence agents had to decide whether Trump's actions posed a possible national security threat.
"I don't know if there's any time in our lifetime or the history of the country where federal law enforcement looked down to the White House ... and thought the actions of the president might threaten us national security".
In a statement to press, Sanders called Comey a "disgraced partisan hack" and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe a "known liar".
According to the Times, FBI officials also opened a counterintelligence investigation around the time of Comey's firing, after officials were alarmed by comments Trump made suggesting Comey's firing was due to the original Russian Federation investigation.More news: Stackstown's delight as Padraig gets nod to lead Ryder Cup bid
The justification went beyond Trump's firing of Comey, according to the sources, and included the President's conversation with Comey in the Oval Office asking him to drop the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Trump and his allies have repeatedly criticized Mueller's investigation, calling it a "witch hunt" and questioning the political motivations of his investigators. Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, thinks the President's legal team should have the opportunity to "correct" the document...
Cohen and Flynn have both been convicted for various crimes as part of the Russian Federation probe and have both offered evidence potentially damaging to their former boss.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Times' report "absurd" and said Mr Comey was sacked for being "a disgraced partisan hack".
"Unlike President Obama, who let Russian Federation and other foreign adversaries push American around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russian Federation", she added.
The bill's Republican sponsors don't believe that Trump will try to fire the special counsel.