WASHINGTON - (AP) -- President Donald Trump called Wednesday for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put an end to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, a day after Trump's former campaign chairman went on trial.
Taking to Twitter to complain about the ongoing Russia investigation, Trump said Sessions "should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further."
The relationship between Sessions and the president has been strained for more than a year, since the attorney general recused himself from investigations relating to the 2016 election because of Sessions' role on the Trump campaign. Mueller's team is accountable to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Tuesday marked the first day of Paul Manafort's trial on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud brought by Mueller's team, charges that stemmed from Manafort's consulting work for Ukraine, for which he allegedly received millions he did not report to the U.S. government. (STORY CONTINUES BELOW)
“FBI Agent Peter Strzok (on the Mueller team) should have recused himself on day one. He was out to STOP THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP. He needed an insurance policy. Those are illegal, improper goals, trying to influence the Election. He should never, ever been allowed to........— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
.....remain in the FBI while he himself was being investigated. This is a real issue. It won’t go into a Mueller Report because Mueller is going to protect these guys. Mueller has an interest in creating the illusion of objectivity around his investigation.” ALAN DERSHOWITZ....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders. He worked for me for a very short time. Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion - a Hoax!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX. The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
Seeking to distance himself from his ex-campaign chairman, Trump said, "He worked for me for a very short time."
But Manafort's involvement in the Trump campaign spanned six months, and he led efforts to secure the GOP nomination for Trump in 2016.
Trump said the charges against Manafort "have nothing to do with Collusion." Potential coordination between Russian government agents and the Trump campaign is still a matter of investigation by Mueller's team, which is also investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president. Trump called claims of collusion "a Hoax."
© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.