US president Donald Trump fires off tweets on Russia probe

July 22, 2017
Donald Trump | Report Focus News
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has fired off a volley of early morning tweets complaining about the investigation into possible Russian meddling in his 2016 campaign, while insisting that he has “complete power to pardon”.

The tweets were unusual in their breadth and scope, even for Mr Trump, given the wide variety of topics he touched on as Saturday dawned in the US.

His 10 tweets, all sent within two hours starting before 6:30 am (local time) ranged from the Russia investigation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Hillary Clinton, the health care effort and his newly appointed White House communications director.

In one missive, Mr Trump said: “While all agree the US President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.”

The Washington Post recently reported that Mr Trump has inquired about the authority he has as President to pardon aides, relatives or even himself in connection with the widening investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether any Trump associates were involved.

The President has long criticised leaks of information about the investigation and has urged authorities to prosecute leakers. He maintains that no crimes have been committed.

One of Mr Trump’s attorneys, Jay Sekulow, said the President has not discussed the issue of pardons with his outside legal team.

Next week, Mr Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr; his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner; and Paul Manafort, a former campaign chairman, are scheduled to appear before Senate committees investigating Russian meddling.

Mr Trump defended his son, tweeting:

The President’s son has become a focus of the investigation after it was revealed that he, Mr Kushner and Mr Manafort met with Russian representatives at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Mr Trump Jr later released email exchanges concerning the meeting on Twitter, after learning that The New York Times was about to publish them.

Mr Trump also took aim at the New York Times.

Mr Trump, who defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in last year’s Presidential election but continues to use her as a foil, questioned why Mr Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller were not investigating former FBI director James Comey or Mrs Clinton, for her email practices as secretary of state.

“So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Counsel looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 emails deleted…,” he wrote.

The FBI decided last year not to recommend criminal charges against Ms Clinton for her email practices.

Mr Trump fired Mr Comey in May.

Mr Sessions had been Mr Trump’s first supporter in the Senate before being named Attorney General, but recently has become a lightning rod for Mr Trump’s anger over the Russia probe.

Mr Sessions recused himself from the probe in March after having failed to disclose at his confirmation hearing that he had held meetings last year with Russia’s ambassador.

The President also had words for Republican senators who have not been able to agree on a way forward to repeal and replace former president Barack Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, which has become known as Obamacare and which Mr Trump promised to do away with.

“The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!” he tweeted.

He followed soon after with: