While speaking at a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this morning, President Trump described the Russian investigation as a “witch hunt,” saying it was “rigged” and that it “really hurts our country, and it really hurts our relationship with Russia.”
Here’s what Trump said:
I think that we’re being hurt very badly by the — I would call it the witch hunt. I would call it the rigged witch hunt after watching some of the little clips. I didn’t get to watch too much, because I’m here, it’s a different time zone to, put it mildly. But after watching the people — the man that was testifying yesterday, I call it the rigged witch hunt. I think that really hurts our country, and it really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance to have a very good relationship with Russia, and a very good chance — very good relationship with president Putin. I would hope so.
Approximately two hours later back in Washington, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the Department of Justice had indicted 12 Russian nationals for hacking into Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC in the runup to the 2016 election.
Rosenstein stated that he had briefed Trump earlier this week. This means President Trump knew of the indictment, and still chose to describe the investigation that produced it as a “rigged witch hunt.”
“I briefed President Trump about these allegations earlier this week,” Rosenstein said. “The President is fully aware of today’s actions by the Department.”