President Trump lashed out over Democratic calls for a probe into his contacts with Russia, calling for an investigation into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) links to the Kremlin.
“I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,” Trump tweeted, with a link attached to a story about Pelosi’s 2010 group meeting with Russia’s U.S. ambassador. He tweeted the message three times, deleting the first two after misspelling the word "hereby" in each.
I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
Pelosi told Politico this week that she had never met the current Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislayak. But when presented with a photograph from a 2010 group meeting, her spokesman said that Pelosi had meant she had never had an individual meeting with the ambassador.
Pelosi responded with a tweet of her own moments later, writing: “.@realDonaldTrump doesn't know difference between official mtg photographed by press & closed secret mtg his AG lied about under oath.”
“Leader Pelosi’s answer to the question today was clearly about private, one-on-one meetings, which she has never had with Ambassador Kislyak,” Pelosi’s office said.
“The Ambassador was incidental to the 2010 meeting between then-Russian President Medvedev and then-Speaker Pelosi. Clearly, one needs to remind that Attorney General Sessions lied under oath about a secret meeting amidst Russia’s hacking of our election, which he also didn’t disclose in a written questionnaire.”
The tweet came hours after Trump similarly pressed Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerAnti-Trump Republicans on the line in 2022 too Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo Democrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol MORE, tweeting: “We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin. A total hypocrite!”
Attached to that tweet was a 2003 photo of Schumer with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That photo, of the two men sharing doughnuts to celebrate the opening of a Russian gas station in New York, gained traction Friday after it was resurfaced on the conservative blog The Gateway Pundit and became the top story on The Drudge Report.
Pelosi, Schumer and other Democrats have repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and for Sessions to resign. U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia was behind hacks into Democratic groups during the presidential campaign that caused damaging leaks for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE.
Democratic calls have heightened since new reports this week revealed that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE met with Russia's U.S. ambassador during last year's presidential campaign and did not disclose the meetings during his confirmation hearings.
Sessions and the White House have pushed back against accusations that Sessions misled Congress. They've both argued that Sessions took the meetings as part of his role as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and did not talk about substantive campaign issues.
Sessions announced Thursday that he would recuse himself from any investigations of the Trump campaign amid reports the FBI is investigating the contacts.
Democrats have said his recusal isn't enough and have called for a special prosecutor to handle any Russia investigations.
- Updated at 5:10 p.m.