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Trump wants Republicans to take over Russia investigation because ‘the world is laughing at America’

There are several investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 10 January 2018 16:35 GMT
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Nearly a year into his tenure, President Donald Trump says that the whole world is laughing at America.

Referring to the investigations into Russia's meddling into the 2016 election, Mr Trump once again said the whole ordeal is the "greatest Witch Hunt in American history", and said that Russia and the world is laughing at the hype around the subject. Republicans, he added, should take over the investigation.

"The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes," Mr Trump tweeted. "Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!"

It's not clear which investigation Mr Trump may have been referring to. There are several investigations currently being conducted concerning Russia's influence in the 2016 election. That includes one in the Senate, one in the House, and one being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by the Justice Department last year.

Both chambers of Congress are currently controlled by Republicans, so both of those investigations would ultimately be steered by Republican members of Congress. The Mueller investigation is an independent probe, and Mr Mueller himself is known as a principled investigator from his tenure as the head of the FBI.

Mr Trump's latest attack on the Russia probes comes just after news that Mr Mueller's probe is likely to request an interview with the President, and that it may already be in negotiations with Mr Trump's lawyers to determine how to proceed on that front.

While Mr Trump has frequently said that the Russia investigation is a misguided venture aimed at damaging his presidency, the Mueller probe has already resulted in charges filed against individuals associated with Mr Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

That includes indictments filed against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and fellow campaign official Rick Gates, who were charged for their contacts with Russian-linked sources, alleged money laundering, and alleged failure to register as foreign agents of the government of Ukraine. Both men have plead not guilty to the crimes, and Mr Manafort has said counter-sued the Mueller team, saying that the probe didn't have the authority to file those particular charges, as they pertained to pre-2016 campaign activities.

Other Trump allies have been caught in Mr Mueller's net as well, including former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos -- who admitted to making false statements to FBI investigators -- and former national security adviser Michael Flynn -- who has been accused of making false statements to the FBI about Russian contacts in December.

Mr Flynn allegedly discussed sanctions with former Russia Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, and later misrepresented that contact with Vice President Mike Pence and those FBI investigators, leading to his firing from the White House less than a month after inauguration day.

Questions have arisen about other, higher ranking members of the Trump team as well.

Mr Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, was embroiled in controversy last year after it was discovered that he had been contacted by an individual wanting to set up a meeting between him and a Russia-linked lawyer, whom he said could provide dirt on HIllary Clinton. That meeting, which emails have shown was met with enthusiasm by Mr Trump Jr, occurred in Trump Tower in New York City, and was attended by Mr Trump's son in law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, as well as Mr Manafort.

Mr Trump Jr has said that the meeting was not productive.

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