Trump tweets photo of Schumer with Putin: ‘Hypocrite!’
President Trump on Friday attacked Democratic calls for a probe into his contacts with Russia, tweeting a past photo of Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!” Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
The 2003 photo shows Schumer and Putin eating doughnuts during Putin’s trip to New York to attend the opening of a Russian gas company’s station.
The Senate Democratic leader responded to Trump’s tweet, saying he would “happily talk” about his contact with Putin while pressing Trump on whether he would do the same.
Happily talk re: my contact w Mr. Putin & his associates, took place in ’03 in full view of press & public under oath. Would you &your team? https://t.co/yXgw3U8tmQ
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 3, 2017
Schumer and other Democrats have repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday said he would recuse himself from Russia probes after it was revealed that he spoke with Russia’s U.S. ambassador twice during last year’s campaign, then denied speaking with Russians during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Democrats have said his recusal isn’t enough and have called for a special prosecutor to handle any Russia investigations.
Schumer has called on Sessions to resign and wants a probe conducted by the Department of Justice’s inspector general to determine if the former Alabama senator compromised an investigation into Russia’s intervention in the election.
Sessions isn’t the only Trump ally to receive backlash for meeting with the Russian envoy, Sergey Kislyak. Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn was ousted last month for misleading White House officials about his conversations with the Russian diplomat.
But Trump clarified that he didn’t ask for Flynn’s resignation over the fact that he discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office, but because Flynn misled Vice President Pence about the interaction.
Updated: 1:35 p.m.