Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump denied working for Russia while speaking to reporters outside the White House on Monday, responding to a New York Times story that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether he was secretly "working on behalf of Russia against American interests" after the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

"I never worked for Russia. And you know that answer better than anybody. I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question because it's a whole big fat hoax. It's just a hoax."

Background: The White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied the Times report over the weekend, calling it "absurd" and "ludicrous," respectively. However, Trump failed to directly deny the report in an interview with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro on Saturday — the same day the Washington Post reported that he sought to hide details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration officials.

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Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

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Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

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