Tuesday 28 March 2017

Trump Tweets Russia Probe 'Hoax,' Rails Against Clintons

Amid ongoing questions about the involvement of his associates with Russian officials during the campaign and about the impartiality of the Republican congressman leading one of the probes into the matter, Donald Trump went on a twitter rant Monday night, calling out an old foe -- the Clintons -- and blaming conservative Republicans for his health care defeat.

In a series of tweets, Trump questioned the actions of the House Intelligence Committee, asking why it isn't conducting a probe into the former Democratic presidential nominee and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

"Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech money to Bill, the Hillary Russian "reset," praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!" wrote Trump in two consecutive posts.

The tweets were not the first instance in which Trump sought to blame Hillary Clinton for a deal between Russia's nuclear power agency and a Canadian company. The non-partisan fact-checking organization Politifact has rated the claim "Mostly False," citing Hillary Clinton's "lack of power to approve or reject the deal."

Investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election are being conducted in both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. The FBI is also investigating any potential ties between Russian officials and Trump associates, a story line Trump has called "fake news."

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who worked on Trump's transition team, is under fire for briefing the president on findings that left Trump feeling "somewhat" vindicated before mentioning that information to the committee. There were also calls for Nunes to step aside from the Russia investigation after it emerged that he met a source on the White House grounds a day before briefing Trump.

In a later tweet, Trump criticized the conservative House Freedom Caucus for its efforts preventing the passage of the American Health Care Act last week, his first major legislative test.

"The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After so many bad years they were ready for a win!" wrote Trump, running counter to his declaration Friday that he would not "speak badly about anybody within the party" and his claim that he preferred for the Affordable Care Act to remain law so that it could "implode" and "explode."

He referred to that position again Monday in an additional tweet, saying, "The Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds - not long. Do not worry, we are in very good shape!"

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