Trump takes aim at Rus­sia probe, call­ing it po­lit­i­cal

Austin American-Statesman - - NATION/WORLD - By To­luse Olorun­nipa

As a spe­cial WASH­ING­TON — coun­sel in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his cam­paign ac­cel­er­ates, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his al­lies are try­ing to rally his po­lit­i­cal base with warn­ings that any out­come other than vin­di­ca­tion will be an at­tempt to thwart the will of vot­ers.

“They’re try­ing to cheat you out of the lead­er­ship that you won with a fake story that is de­mean­ing to all of us and most im­por­tantly de­mean­ing to our coun­try and de­mean­ing to our Con­sti­tu­tion,” Trump told a cheer­ing crowd in Hunt­ing­ton, W.Va., Thurs­day night.

“I just hope the fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion is a truly hon­est one,” he said.

He fol­lowed up Fri­day morn­ing on his Twit­ter ac­count by high­light­ing a ca­ble news com­men­ta­tor pre­dict­ing a na­tional “up­ris­ing” if a mem­ber of Trump’s fam­ily is in­dicted.

Trump is go­ing on the of­fen­sive in seek­ing to cast the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian med­dling in last year’s cam­paign in po­lit­i­cal terms fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions that spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller is us­ing a fed­eral grand jury in Wash­ing­ton to help col­lect in­for­ma­tion on Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence and pos­si­ble col­lu­sion by Trump as­so­ci­ates.

In po­lit­i­cally friendly ter­ri­tory like West Vir­ginia and on sym­pa­thetic ca­ble TV news shows, Trump is find­ing sup­port at a time when he has com­plained that tra­di­tional al­lies have de­serted him.

Two speak­ers at Thurs­day night’s rally also em­braced Trump’s theme that the idea of Rus­sia hav­ing helped his cam­paign is a “fab­ri­ca­tion” be­ing pushed by his crit­ics and should be dis­missed. Trump’s daugh­ter-in-law Lara Trump told the crowd it is a “crazy story.”

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