A Democratic senator on Thursday disputed President Trump’s claim that the Russia probe was the “single greatest witch hunt” in American history, arguing the Salem witch trials of the 17th century were worse.

“I have family ancestors from the Boston area and I think the Salem witch hunt has to be the greatest witch hunt in American history,” Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Senate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Hillicon Valley: Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate | Dems press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts | Thousands push back against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images MORE (D-Del.) told CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Coons’s comment came hours after Trump called the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between his campaign staff and Russia the “single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history - led by some very bad and conflicted people!" Trump wrote, adding a hashtag for his "Make America Great Again" slogan.

Coons in the television appearance argued that it will be difficult for Trump to “change the subject” from the FBI’s Russia investigation because special counsel Robert Mueller has bipartisan support.

“One of the things that President Trump is going to run into here as he tries to change the subject is the fact that Bob Mueller commands very wide bipartisan support here in the senate and in Washington generally,” Coons said.

The Democratic senator noted that Mueller, who led the FBI under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward MORE, was “one of the most respected federal law enforcement leaders.” 

“And although he may try to change the subject to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE and the investigation into her emails during last year’s campaign, the fact that there is a significant investigation moving forward lead by former FBI Director Mueller, is what I would encourage the president to focus on,” Coons said. 

Trump on Thursday afternoon also questioned why former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was not the subject of Russia-related investigations.