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Trump calls on Sessions to end Russia probe ‘right now’

Trump calls on Sessions to end Russia probe ‘right now’

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to visit Ohio to campaign in special House election CNN’s Acosta: I’m worried Trump’s rhetoric toward media ‘will result in somebody getting hurt’ Trump shares son’s tweet backing supporters chanting ‘CNN sucks’ MORE on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRetired judges protesting DOJ’s involvement in deportation case The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump stirs GOP midterm angst with talk of shutdown Clinton maxes out to 19 Democratic House candidates MORE to stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of his attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” Trump tweeted.

The president also accused special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE of being “totally conflicted,” adding that “his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA.”

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Sessions has long been the target of Trump’s ire over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, but the president has seldom suggested publicly that his attorney general should halt the probe.

Trump’s latest barb comes one day his former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller transfers foreign agent inquiries to New York prosecutors: report Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals influence campaign ahead of midterms | Dems quickly suspect Russia | Pence voices support for intel community | Dems push for review of facial recognition tech | DHS center to protect critical infrastructure On The Money: Trump waves off political risk from shutdown | Senate GOP, Dems get deal on major spending bill | Regulator to offer banking charters to financial tech firms | What to know from day one of Manafort trial MORE, went on trial for alleged tax, financial and bank fraud crimes, the biggest test yet of the Mueller probe.

The president also sought to distance himself from Manafort early Wednesday, saying in another tweet that he only “worked for me for a very short time” and suggested federal authorities should have informed him his campaign chief was under investigation during the 2016 campaign.

“Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders. He worked for me for a very short time. Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion – a Hoax!”

Mueller, a Republican, has indicted or secured guilty pleas from 32 individuals, including four former Trump aides, in the probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign was involved in the effort and has also wavered on whether Russia interfered in the election, as U.S. intelligence agencies have unanimously concluded.

For months, the president has kept up a sustained attack on the Mueller investigation in an attempt to undermine it in the eyes of the public.

Multiple media reports have said Trump privately pressured Sessions several times to reverse his decision to recuse himself. Those comments, plus his tweets attacking Sessions and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyPoll: Majority of Americans say FBI showed bias in Trump, Clinton probes Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals influence campaign ahead of midterms | Dems quickly suspect Russia | Pence voices support for intel community | Dems push for review of facial recognition tech | DHS center to protect critical infrastructure Brennan: Haven’t heard from White House since they threatened to revoke security clearance MORE, are reportedly under investigation as Mueller looks into whether Trump has obstructed justice.

Sessions, the former Alabama senator who served as a key Trump campaign adviser, recused himself in March 2017 from the Russia probe after it was revealed he failed to disclose a conversation with Russia’s U.S. ambassador he had during the 2016 race.

That decision left Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinGiuliani claims Mueller probe ‘began with Peter Strzok’ The Hill’s Morning Report — 99 days: Inside the sprint to Nov. 6 Trump lashes out at Mueller for alleged conflicts of interest MORE to oversee the investigation. Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel in May 2017 after Trump fired Comey as FBI director.

This developing story was last updated at 10:22 a.m.

Published at Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:31:13 +0000