Thursday, May 18, 2017
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump warned that the special counsel investigation into alleged links between his 2016 campaign and Russia's election hacking "hurts our country" after earlier branding the probe the "single greatest witch hunt" in political history.
"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country," Trump said at a luncheon with a group of television news anchors.
"And we have very important things to be doing right now, whether it's trade deals, whether it's military, whether it's stopping nuclear -- all of the things that we discussed today. And I think this shows a very divided country," Trump said.
The President also suggested that the investigation that will now be led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller was also motivated by an attempt to tarnish his election victory last year.
"It also happens to be a pure excuse for the Democrats having lost an election that they should have easily won because of the Electoral College being slanted so much in their way. That's all this is. I think it shows division, and it shows that we're not together as a country. And I think it's a very, very negative thing. And hopefully, this can go quickly, because we have to show unity if we're going to do great things with respect to the rest of the world."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, leaving the senators' briefing with Rosenstein, said Thursday he believes the Russia investigation is "now considered a criminal investigation."
"Congress' ability to conduct investigations of all things Russia has been severely limited, probably in an appropriate fashion," the South Carolina Republican said, as a result of Mueller's appointment.
He added he wasn't able to ask specifically if it was now a criminal probe "but the takeaway I have is, everything he said was that you need to treat this investigation as if it may a criminal investigation."
Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.