Trump Rails Against ‘Failing and Crooked’ NY Times For ‘Boring’ Report on Gulf Prince Offering Campaign Assistance

President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade Sunday against a New York Times exposé revealing his son and other campaign officials met with a Gulf emissary who offered a hand in winning the 2016 election.

Trump blasted the report, calling the publication “Failing and Crooked,” while adding in a jab at Hillary Clinton. He contended that the report was merely “a long & boring story” showing Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation “has found nothing on Russia & me.”

But it didn’t stop there. Launching into one of his trademark tweetstorms, Trump railed against Mueller’s probe as being the work of a bunch of angry democrats, and suggested that they re-focus the investigation onto the Clinton emails.

The Times reported that during the meeting arranged by Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, Donald Trump Jr. was assured by emissary George Nader that leaders in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were hopeful Trump would secure the election, and they wanted to help. Nader has been cooperating with the the special counsel’s investigation in recent months, CNN reported.

While Trump was quick to dismiss the report and again bash the Mueller probe, the investigation has already resulted in more than a dozen indictments along with five guilty pleas.

The president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, believes there is a chance Trump could be subpoenaed in the probe, and has begun preparing him in the event that he’s interviewed, Politico reported.

[Mediaite]

Pence calls on Mueller to wrap up’ Russia probe

US Vice-President Mike Pence has urged special counsel Robert Mueller to “wrap up” his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

He said the White House has “fully co-operated” with the probe, which is looking at whether US President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Mr Trump and the Kremlin have repeatedly denied the allegations.

His remarks came as he and Mr Trump greeted three Americans returning from North Korea after being held there.

“In the interests of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up,” he told NBC News early on Thursday morning at Joint Base Andrews.

The vice-president added the administration had provided more than a million documents to Mr Mueller’s investigation team.

“And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.”

Mr Pence dismissed reports about Michael Cohen, Mr Trump’s personal lawyer, receiving millions of dollars in payments from companies as a “private matter” and “something I don’t have any knowledge about”.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that Mr Cohen’s company, Essential Consultants LLC, last year received half a million dollars from Columbus Nova, a New York-based investment company affiliated with a firm controlled by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

It was one of several businesses – including major corporations like AT&T – which paid a shell company set up by Mr Cohen after the 2016 election.

Following the vice-president’s comments, top Democrat Adam Schiff tweeted that Mr Pence “has now brought his sycophancy to a whole new level”.

Mr Schiff’s tweet centers around lingering concerns over Michael Flynn, the former US national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia last December.

Mr Trump sacked Mr Flynn last February, saying he had lied to Mr Pence about meeting the Russian envoy to the US.

Per a list of questions leaked to US media, it appeared that special counsel Robert Mueller will look into Mr Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and what exactly the president knew about the situation.

[BBC]

Trump suggests legal action coming against Mueller’s team

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that “angry Democrats” on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team could face legal action over alleged “conflicts of interest.”

“The 13 Angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in place that actually protects people from injustice…and just wait ’till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest!” Trump said.

Trump did not provide proof of the alleged conflicts. Although CNN has reported that several members of Mueller’s team have donated to Democrats, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election also has been the subject of several Republican-led congressional inquiries. Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush, and the man who appointed him as special counsel, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was appointed by Trump.

The President also weighed in on other recent developments in the Russia investigation. He denied that he’s obstructed the probe, instead defending his actions and rhetoric as “fighting back” against “the Russia Witch Hunt.”

“There is no O, it’s called Fighting Back,” the President tweeted, later suggesting that the investigation was being dragged out so it could damage Republicans in the midterm elections.

Trump also asked why FBI special agent Peter Strzok is still at the bureau. Strzok’s text messages with Lisa Page, a former FBI lawyer who resigned last week, became fodder for conservatives who believed they revealed bias at the bureau.

Several leaked questions that Mueller is interested in asking Trump are related to possible obstruction of justice actions. Trump said last week that such questions amount to a “setup and trap” and that it would “seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened!”

Last month, Trump hinted to “Fox & Friends”that he might “at some point” step in and take action against the Justice Department, which is overseeing the special counsel investigation.

[CNN]

Trump slams Mueller Russia probe, accuses team of having ‘unrevealed conflicts of interest’

President Donald Trump on Monday railed against the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, accusing special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of having “unrevealed conflicts of interest” and insisting that obstruction of justice is a “made-up phony crime.”

“The Russia Witch Hunt is rapidly losing credibility. House Intelligence Committee found No Collusion, Coordination or anything else with Russia. So now the Probe says OK, what else is there? How about Obstruction for a made up, phony crime.There is no O, it’s called Fighting Back,”

It wasn’t immediately clear what conflicts of interest Trump was referring to, although the president has repeatedly slammed the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.” Mueller, a Republican, was appointed FBI chief by GOP President George W. Bush in 2001 and served until 2013.

The tweets come just days after a U.S. federal judge, T.S. Ellis, said he is skeptical about Mueller’s ability to bring charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Ellis, a Reagan appointee, hammered the special counsel’s office Friday, suggesting that the charges against Manafort have nothing to do with Russian election interference and that the special counsel is only interested in squeezing Manafort for information “that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his impeachment.”

Trump wrote in the first of two Monday morning tweets on the topic. Mueller’s team is reportedly probing whether Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing James Comey as FBI director last year.

Trump, referring to Mueller’s team, added, “The 13 Angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in place that actually protects people from injustice.”

“And just wait ’till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest!” Trump said.

Trump’s tweets, however, could also be part of a more combative legal strategy that the president’s newly reshuffled legal team is said to be taking against the Mueller probe.

Last week, Trump tapped Emmet Flood, who advised Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings, to assist in the Russia investigation after Ty Cobb, the lead White House attorney handling the probe, announced plans to retire. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a longtime Trump ally and ex-federal prosecutor in New York, also recently joined Trump’s legal team to provide advice on how to deal with the special counsel’s probe.

Mueller reportedly wants to question Trump in detail about his ties to Russia, the president’s firing of Comey and whether he tried to interfere with the investigation, according to a list of questions published by The New York Times last week.

In less than a year — Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017 — his team’s work has resulted in 19 individuals being charged with crimes. That number includes 13 Russian nationals and five people who pleaded guilty (among them Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos).

[NBC News]

Trump touts unemployment drop — but a ‘WITCH HUNT’ remains on his mind

In a single tweet Friday, President Trump simultaneously hailed news of the lowest U.S. unemployment rate since 2000 and derided the ongoing special counsel probe of possible ties between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

“JUST OUT: 3.9% Unemployment. 4% is Broken! In the meantime, WITCH HUNT!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The tweet was the president’s first public comment on the unemployment rate falling to 3.9 percent — a development that Trump allies argued was evidence of his strong stewardship of the economy.

But the tweet belied the fact that the president remains irritated by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing investigation, which has dominated headlines, along with a payment made by Trump’s personal attorney to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump has repeatedly called the Russia probe a ‘WITCH HUNT,” saying that Mueller has no evidence of collusion and is trying to trap him into committing perjury.

The president and his aides have sought to highlight the progress Trump is making on multiple fronts, including in negotiations over the denuclearization of North Korea, while Democrats and the media focus on issues Trump claims are less important to real people.

Trump’s latest tweet came shortly before he was scheduled to leave the White House en route to Dallas, where he is speaking to an annual gathering of the National Rifle Association.

[Washington Post]

Reality

Wow, it’s almost like a trend thanks to Democratic policies.

Trump Threatens to ‘Get Involved’ With the DOJ: ‘At Some Point I Will Have No Choice’

President Trump has once again weighed in on Republican concerns that the DOJ is not providing documents in a timely manner.

It’s gotten to the point where some Republicans have begun drafting articles of impeachment against Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein as a “last resort.” Rosenstein fired back yesterday by saying the DOJ will not be “extorted.”

And now the President himself is getting into this ongoing battle:

[Mediaite]

Trump calls obstruction of justice inquiry ‘a setup & trap’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday decried the investigations into his 2016 campaign as a “hoax” and specifically called the obstruction of justice inquiry a “a setup,” insisting via Twitter that the real news of his administration is progress in negotiations with North Korea and efforts towards resetting U.S. trade policy.

“There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap),” the president wrote online. “What there is is Negotiations going on with North Korea over Nuclear War, Negotiations going on with China over Trade Deficits, Negotiations on NAFTA, and much more. Witch Hunt!”

The complaints on Wednesday matched the rhetoric the president has used often in describing investigations into allegations of collusion between his 2016 campaign and the Russian government, which the U.S. intelligence community has accused of working to interfere in that year’s presidential election to Trump’s benefit.

Allegations of obstruction of justice stem mainly from an accusation by former FBI Director James Comey that Trump asked him during a private meeting to let go of an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The president has often lamented that the media have too often ignored the successes he has claimed for his administration in favor of Russia coverage.

But despite Trump’s assertions that the Russia investigations, in particular the one led by special counsel Robert Mueller, are little more than a “witch hunt,” the probe has already proved fruitful. Mueller’s team has secured multiple indictments, including of Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals, amid the ongoing investigation.

[Politico]

Leak of Mueller Russia probe questions ‘disgraceful’, Trump tweets

President Trump said Tuesday it’s “disgraceful” that a list of questions that the special counsel investigating Russian election interference wants to ask him was “leaked” to the news media.

The New York Times late Monday published the nearly four dozen questions given to Trump’s attorneys, covering Trump’s motivations for firing FBI Director James Comey last May and contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians.

“It is so disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were ‘leaked’ to the media,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!”

In a second tweet, Trump said: “It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened.”

Trump repeatedly has called the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller a “witch hunt” and insists there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia. Trump has also accused Comey of leaking classified information. Mueller was appointed to oversee the investigation by the deputy attorney general after Trump fired Comey in May 2017.

Although Mueller’s team has indicated to Trump’s lawyers that he’s not considered a target, investigators remain interested in whether the president’s actions constitute obstruction of justice and want to interview him about several episodes in office.
Many of the questions obtained by the Times center on the obstruction issue, including his reaction to Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation, a decision Trump has angrily criticized.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow declined to comment to the Associated Press on Monday night, as did White House lawyer Ty Cobb.

The questions also touch on Russian meddling and whether the Trump campaign coordinated in any way with the Kremlin. In one question obtained by the Times, Mueller asks what Trump knew about campaign staff, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, reaching out to Moscow.

[Los Angeles Times]

Trump: Russia probe ‘MUST END NOW!’

President Trump on Friday declared the Russia investigation “MUST END NOW” after congressional Republicans released a report saying his campaign did not collude with Moscow to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s message came just minutes after Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their final report on Russia’s influence operations in the 2016 election.

It found “no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.” But the report does criticize the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns for “poor judgment and ill-considered actions” in their dealings with Russia-related figures.

Democrats on the Intelligence panel refused to endorse the report, calling the committee’s investigation a sham that was biased in favor of Trump.

Critics of the president fear he might use the report to stymie the federal probe into Russia’s election interference, including firing the special counsel Robert Mueller or his supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The White House has refused to rule out the possibility that Trump could fire either man, but the president has downplayed the chances he will do so.

“They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months, and they’re still here,” Trump told reporters last week.

Still, during an interview Friday morning, Trump suggested he might someday take a more hands-on approach to the Justice Department.

“Because of the fact that they have this witch hunt going on, with people in the Justice Department that shouldn’t be there – they have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”

“You look at the corruption at the top of the FBI – it’s a disgrace,” Trump said. “And our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point I won’t.”

[The Hill]

Trump claims vindication after release of Comey memos

President Trump late Thursday night trumpeted the release of a series of memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, claiming they exonerated him of allegations that he obstructed justice and colluded with Russia.

“James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION,” Trump tweeted. “Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”

Comey’s memos have become a flashpoint in an increasingly bitter partisan fight on Capitol Hill tied to whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in the ongoing probe into possible ties between his campaign and Russia.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) was forced to hand over the memos to Congress on Thursday or face a subpoena from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). He and other Republicans, including Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), have been investigating alleged anti-Trump bias at the DOJ in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Following the release of the memos, which mostly contained details already known to the public thanks to Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill and leaked excerpts from his autobiography, the three Republicans released a statement saying the memos provided clear evidence there was no obstruction of justice.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, meanwhile, claimed they “provide strong corroborating evidence of everything [Comey] said about President Trump” and show a “blatant effort to deny justice.”

In his tweet, Trump was also apparently referring to the fact that Comey had provided one unclassified memo to a friend who then gave it to The New York Times. Comey did so in order to trigger the appointment of a special counsel in the Russia probe.

Trump has repeatedly railed against the probe, frequently referring to it as a “witch hunt.” He has also stepped up his attacks on Comey in recent days, as the ex-FBI director mounts a media blitz in order to promote his new book.

[The Hill]

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