Trump denounces Russian election meddling probe, calls it ‘a disgrace to USA’

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She insisted the president's tweets are an "opinion" - but not an order. And with the midterms only three months away, critics have called on Trump to take a stronger stand.

"The trail of evidence regarding conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice is leading closer to the President and people important to him".

Trump Jr. and Sr. have both minimized the meeting, saying nothing of substance came from it.

Mr Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

President Donald Trump wants to meet with investigators working on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe because he believes he can convince them it is actually a "witch hunt".

In a reference to the special prosecutor who is heading-up the Russian Federation probe, the president added: "Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democracts that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to the United States of America!"

"Just because @realDonaldTrump obstructs justice in full public view by calling on Sessions to interfere in Mueller investigation doesn't mean it's not obstruction of justice".

"Glad to see the White House finally do something about election security - even if it's only a press conference".

"Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders", he said. Why didn't government tell me that he was under investigation.

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The tweets come at a particularly sensitive time in the investigation, as a federal jury in Virginia is hearing evidence in Manafort's trial on tax evasion and fraud charges. "It is part and parcel with the other 94 things the man has done that show obstruction of justice", said Paul Rosenzweig, a former prosecutor who was part of a team that investigated President Bill Clinton. Manafort is in detention after having his bail revoked because of allegations that he was attempting to tamper with witnesses in his case.

Earlier this year, Congress distributed $380 million to all 50 states to enhance election-related cybersecurity.

Sanders said Trump wants Mueller's investigation concluded swiftly without intervention, though Trump has publicly mused as recently as May about interfering in the Department of Justice's oversight of the probe. She denied that Trump was trying to obstruct the probe.

It is quite clear that the president's idea of Sessions ending Mueller's investigation did not go over well with Democrats.

"The president has issued no order or direction to the Department of Justice on this", lawyer Jay Sekulow told The Washington Post.

Mr Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade on Wednesday as he sought to defend himself and Mr Manafort, and criticised a probe into whether his campaign team worked with Russian Federation to try and sway the result of the election two years ago.

In a tweet, he said, "I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!"

"We acknowledge the threat, it is real, it is continuing, and we're doing everything we can to have a legitimate election", Coats said, adding: "It is pervasive, it is ongoing, with the intent to. drive a wedge and undermine our democratic values". "It's the president's opinion", Sanders said.

"I would describe it as a tiny bit of movement, not anything dramatic, but at least it is worth responding to", Giuliani said of the offer in an interview with Bloomberg News.

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