INTERNATIONAL

Trump lambasts Russia probe

Washington, May 18: US President Donald Trump has slammed the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, calling it yet again a “witch hunt” on the first anniversary of the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. “Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History… and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction,” Trump said on Thursday on Twitter, Efe news reported.

Trump said that Mueller’s investigation, which is independent from the government, is part of a “witch hunt” by Democrats who still do not accept their defeat in the 2016 election and are trying to discredit his winning the presidency. For months, rumours have abounded regarding Trump’s potential firing of Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia investigation and was the one who named Mueller to head the probe a year ago. On May 17, 2017, Rosenstein tasked Mueller with investigating any links between the Russian government and people connected with Trump’s campaign. Mueller took charge of the investigation after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who had refused to swear “loyalty” to the president.

Comey’s abrupt firing created a political earthquake in Washington and forced the Department of Justice to designate a special prosecutor to independently head the Russia investigation free from any kind of government interference. Mueller headed the FBI from 2001-2013 and was selected to act as special counsel due to his apparent neutrality, since he had worked under both the Republican administration of George Bush and the Democratic one of Barack Obama. (IANS)