March for Truth protests calling for independent Russia probe kick off
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Protesters in Washington huddled steps away from the White House on Saturday, calling for an independent commission to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the latest in a series of weekend demonstrations against the Trump administration.

The first protesters in the so-called “#MarchForTruth” gathered in New York City’s Foley Square, where speakers, including “Hamilton” star Javier Muñoz and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), addressed the crowd.

In New York's Foley Square, at least one protester held a sign of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a red "Make America Great Again" hat. Other signs reading, "Drive out Trump/Pence regime" dotted the crowd, as well. 

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In addition to demanding an independent commission, marchers are calling for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE to release his tax returns and for more information to be made public in ongoing federal probes into the Kremlin's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

The marches in Washington and New York are among more than 150 expected to take place in cities across the United States on Saturday. Marchers began arriving in the morning at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., for what is likely to be the most visible demonstration of the day.

In Trump's first four months in office, the White House has faced mounting controversies surrounding investigations by the FBI and at least four congressional committees into possible coordination between members of Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations, and has called the probes "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history." The president abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey last month, later acknowledging that the bureau's Russia investigation played a role in that decision.

Trump’s presidency has sparked a number of massive marches and protests in Washington and around the country since he took office in January. The day after his inauguration, millions of demonstrators took to the streets in cities around the world for the Women’s March. Since then, protesters have turned out for marches urging Trump to release his personal income tax returns and calling for evidence based policy and funding for scientific research.

Also near the White House on Saturday, a "Pittsburgh not Paris" rally organized by Virginia Republicans thanked Trump for his recent decision to take the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. Both groups of demonstrators remained peaceful as of Saturday morning.

Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for then-President Obama, attended the March for Truth rally and compared it to the pro-Trump rally in a tweet, saying: "here's a real protest."

 

- This post was updated at 12:30 p.m.