Russian foreign minister decries 'witch hunt,' echoing Trump

Russian foreign minister decries 'witch hunt,' echoing Trump
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Russia's foreign minister on Friday blasted the scandal around links between Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE's presidential campaign and the Kremlin, echoing Trump's words in calling it a "witch hunt."

"Countries appoint ambassadors in order to maintain relations, this is done through meetings, conversations and contacts with state officials and legislators," Sergei Lavrov said, according to Tass News Agency

"I can cite the media that say all this is very much reminiscent of a witch hunt and the McCarthyism era which we all thought was long gone," he added.

Lavrov's wording was nearly identical to Trump's. The president on Thursday tweeted: "The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total 'witch hunt!' "
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attends football game with Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate race opponent Bradley Byrne Impeachment tests Barr-Trump relationship Tide, Tigers and Trump: President hopes for home-field advantage in Alabama MORE was the latest figure in Trump's orbit to be ensnared in Russia-related controversy this week when it was revealed that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the campaign, despite saying during his confirmation hearing that he had no communication with Russian officials while acting as a surrogate and adviser for the campaign.
Sessions's office has maintained that any conversations with Kislyak were done so because Sessions sat on the Armed Services Committee while in the Senate.
Sessions on Thursday announced he will recuse himself from any Russia-related probe in the future. He is facing pressure from Democrats to resign.
National security advisor Michael Flynn was ousted last month after misleading White House officials about the contents of his conversation with Kislyak.
"As for accusations against Kislyak and those he met with. … Our ambassador is accused of meeting with the US politicians who opposed the Obama administration. This is the essence of the accusations, to be honest," Lavrov maintained.
"We don’t want to act the same and we won’t do that. If we applied the same principle to Ambassador to Russia [John] Tefft, this would be real fun," he added.