A White House spokesman told the Post that the Trump administration has looked to "improve the relationship with Russia" after the Obama administration "pursued a flawed "reset" policy that sought engagement for the sake of engagement".
Trump has been trying to play up his presence at the White House during the standoff as a sign that it's Democrats who won't negotiate a deal.
The paper says Mr Trump concealed details of his conversations with Mr Putin from senior officials in his administration, quoting unnamed current and former U.S. officials.
In addition to the Mueller probe, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been conducting a parallel investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
"Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, nearly all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze!"
Trump also said he had "a great conversation" with Putin during their one-on-one, almost two-hour meeting in Helsinki in July 2018.
Ratcliffe said he was surprised to read Friday's New York Times report, which quoted part of his Baker interview, and reported that after the Comey firing "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior" that they began investigating whether Trump was working on behalf of Russian Federation.
"I mean, I had a conversation like every president does".
"Anybody could have listened to that meeting", he said.
Trump responded, "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked".
Mr Trump's relations with Russian Federation before his election in 2016 are the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.
Current and former U.S. officials told the paper that Trump's efforts include confiscating the notes from his interpreter and not allowing them to discuss the details of the meetings with other officials in his administration.
Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he had no knowledge of the inquiry but said that since it was opened a year and a half ago and they hadn't heard anything, apparently "they found nothing". The newspaper said the investigation came after the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey. "If this really did happen, Congress needs to know about it and what I want to do is make sure how could the Federal Bureau of Investigation do that?"
Whatever the facts, Democrats are eyeing a major dust-up and a chance to spend floor time blasting President Trump over allegations of election conspiracy with the Russians, along with the opportunity to make GOP lawmakers take a vote either defending or implicitly condemning the president. He saids Deripaska himself and any companies he controls remain under sanctions. Deripaska has figured into the investigation due to his ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Opening an apparent counterintelligence investigation into the president raises questions about timing and the evidentiary basis.
On this weekend's broadcast of "Fox News Sunday", Sen.