TRUMP HITS BACK
He demands probe into Democrat Schumer’s Russian ties based on 14-year-old photo
PRESIDENT Donald Trump, his administration under siege for contacts with Russian officials, is calling for “an immediate investigation” into Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s own ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump’s evidence? A 14-yearold photo of Schumer and Putin holding coffee and doughnuts in a New York City gas station.
The president on Friday tweeted a photo of the two men, calling for a probe into Schumer’s “ties to Russia and Putin” and called the New York senator “A total hypocrite!”.
Trump did not say where the photo came from, but Schumer quickly pointed out that it was taken in 2003 when Putin ventured to New York to celebrate the opening of a Russian-owned Lukoil gas station on Manhattan’s west side.
Schumer, in his own tweet, said he would “happily talk” under oath about his meeting with Putin, which took place “in full view of press and public”.
He then challenged Trump to do the same. And, a short time later, he posted a follow-up in which he further poked fun at the photo, noting “And for the record, they were Krispy Kreme donuts”.
On the same trip to the United States in 2003, Putin travelled to Camp David, Maryland, where he met then Republican president George W. Bush.
Trump’s tweet came just hours after the conservative website Drudge Report made the photo its lead image. And that was a day after the photo was unearthed by the pro-Trump blog Gateway Pundit, which ran it with the headline “Where’s the outrage?”
Trump targeted congressional Democrats for their encounters with Russians over the years even though the party’s criticism of Attorney-General Jeff Sessions centred on his failure to acknowledge his meetings when questioned at his Senate confirmation hearing and in written responses to the Judiciary Committee.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Senator Chuck Schumer (second from right) in New York City on Sept 26, 2003.