Trump decries ‘evil politics’ of Mueller’s Russia probe

President Trump says that the federal investigation into the 2016 election and his campaign’s ties to Russia is “bad for the country” and a “Witch Hunt for evil politics,” but he also insists Republicans are united in drawing Hillary Clinton into the ongoing probe.

“Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?), the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets on Sunday morning. “Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia ‘collusion,’ which doesn’t exist. The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics, but the R’s are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!”

“All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform,” the president added. “Is this coincidental? NOT!”

The tweets come amid reports that a federal grand jury has approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller and that arrests could come as soon as Monday. According to CNN, the charges, which were approved Friday, remain sealed.

The White House and Trump have long sought to deflect attention from investigations — by a Justice Department special counsel and multiple congressional committees — into whether Trump campaign associates colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Last week, Trump and top aides seized on a Washington Post report that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee helped pay for the controversial dossier that made salacious but unverified claims about Trump.

“The real Russia scandal?” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Tuesday night, shortly after the Post’s story was published online. “Clinton campaign paid for the fake Russia dossier, then lied about it & covered it up.”

On Wednesday morning, Trump reacted to the Post’s report himself, relaying an apparent quote from a Fox News segment about the article on Wednesday morning. “The victim here is the President,” Trump wrote.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon, Trump described the dossier as “fake” and “made-up.”

“I understand they paid a tremendous amount of money,” he said. “And Hillary Clinton always denied it. The Democrats always denied it, and now only because it’s going to come out in a court case did they say, yes, they did it, they admitted it, and they’re embarrassed by it. But I think it’s a disgrace. It’s a very sad commentary on politics in this country.”

On Wednesday night, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board accused Clinton and the DNC of “collusion” with Russia, and called for Mueller’s resignation.

“It turns out that Russia has sown distrust in the U.S. political system — aided and abetted by the Democratic Party, and perhaps the FBI,” the board said. “This is an about-face from the dominant media narrative of the last year, and it requires a full investigation.”

In recent days, Trump supporters have gone on Fox News to urge investigators to turn their attention to Clinton.

On Thursday, former White House senior adviser Sebastian Gorka told Fox’s Sean Hannity that Clinton ought to be tried for treason.

“When will @HillaryClinton be indicted?” Hannity tweeted on Friday night.

On Saturday, host Jeanine Pirro reiterated a phrase made popular by the Trump campaign.

“Lock her up,” Pirro said. “That’s what I said. I actually said it: Lock her up.”

On Sunday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump’s comments on the Russia investigation were “too defensive” — and that the president should allow Mueller to complete his work.

“We support this investigation that the Department of Justice has now appointed this special prosecutor,” Portman said. “Let’s let him get to the bottom of it.”

White House lawyer Ty Cobb says Trump’s tweets had nothing to do with Mueller’s probe.

“His tweets today are not, as some have asked, a reaction to anything involving the special counsel, with whom the White House continues to cooperate,” Cobb told NBC News.

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. (Photo: Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

According to the Washington Post’s reporting, Marc E. Elias — a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC — retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, in April 2016 to produce the dossier.

The document was prepared by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, who had been looking into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Kremlin for Fusion on behalf of an undisclosed Republican client during the GOP primary.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that the unnamed client was the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican donor. According to the Times, the Free Beacon told Fusion GPS to stop doing research on Trump in May 2016. The Clinton campaign and the DNC reportedly paid for Fusion GPS’s research of Trump from April through the end of October 2016.

Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Clinton campaign, told the Washington Post he was unaware of the research that was being conducted — but would have nonetheless supported it.

“The first I learned of Christopher Steele or saw any dossier was after the election,” Fallon said. “But if I had gotten handed it last fall, I would have had no problem passing it along and urging reporters to look into it. Opposition research happens on every campaign, and here you had probably the most shadowy guy ever running for president, and the FBI certainly has seen fit to look into it. I probably would have volunteered to go to Europe myself to try and verify if it would have helped get more of this out there before the election.”

A spokeswoman for the DNC said that the committee’s new leadership, including chairman Tom Perez, was likewise unaware Elias had retained Fusion to produce the dossier.

On ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. — the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, which is doing its own probe of Russian election meddling — said questions about who funded the dossier miss the point.

“It doesn’t answer the ultimate question, which is: How much of the work is accurate?” Schiff said. “How much of it is true?”

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