US President Donald Trump says the federal investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian interference in last year’s US presidential election is “bad for the country” and a “Witch Hunt for evil politics.”
Just two days after reports that a grand jury approved the first charges in the investigation, Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to condemn the probe, as well as the Democratic Party and his election opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia, collusion, which doesn’t exist. The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics,” Trump fumed.
“All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform. Is this coincidental? NOT!” he tweeted.
The Republican president described Clinton and the Democratic National Convention (DNC), as being the real colluders with Russia.
According to recent reports, Clinton— Trump’s Democratic rival in last year’s presidential election— and the DNC, had paid Russians to put together the so-called “Russian dossier” which contains alleged evidence about Trump’s ties to Russia.
Trump tried to divert attention from the Mueller probe by pointing out several controversies surrounding the former first lady’s team.
“Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?), the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the [former FBI chief James] Comey fix and so much more,” he wrote.
The filing of charges by the grand jury was first reported by CNN, which cited sources briefed on the matter.
The indictment was sealed under orders from a federal judge so it was not clear what the charges were or who the target was, the sources said. Plans were prepared for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday.
The leak did not go down well with Republicans, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Representative Trey Gowdy saying that it could be a criminal violation.
“We’ve got to make sure that the grand jury process remains confidential, remains secret, so that the special counsel can work effectively,” Christie told CNN on Sunday.
Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, echoed the same stance.
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and has condemned the investigations. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also denied the allegations.
Mueller was appointed by the US Justice Department to lead the probe a week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading a federal investigation into possible Russia collusion.
Trump initially said he fired Comey because his leadership of the FBI was inadequate and hurt morale, but in a later interview with NBC he cited “this Russia thing” as his reason.