Trump calls Mueller’s Russia probe ‘rigged witch hunt’

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Washington, July 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump launched a verbal attack on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of the Kremlin meddling in the 2016 presidential election, calling it a “rigged witch hunt” and “illegal”, as it was ignited by a “fraudulent” opposition research dossier.

“There is no collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the Democratic National Committee. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!” Trump said on Sunday in one of a series of scathing Twitter messages.

“Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty and contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as Special Counsel)… And James Comey (former FBI chief) is his close friend?” Trump continued, referring to Mueller’s appointment as in charge of the Russian probe.

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The verbal assault was the latest Mueller bashing seen on Trump’s Twitter timeline, where it is a recurring theme.

The tweets came just over a week after the Justice Department released documents related to secret surveillance warrants obtained on Carter Page, a former adviser to Trump’s campaign, the Hill magazine reported.

Those documents cited allegations in a dossier compiled in 2016 by a former British intelligence agent that Page met two senior Russian representatives during a trip to Moscow that year.

The research behind the dossier was funded, in part, by Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Some Republicans have long argued that the application to obtain the surveillance warrant against Page relied too heavily on the dossier, which contained salacious and controversial claims that were not verified.

But Democrats pointed to the fact that the warrant application contained evidence against Page that was unrelated to the dossier, such as efforts by Moscow to recruit Americans as intelligence assets in 2013. Page was reportedly one of those targets.

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