Trump: Sessions 'should be ashamed of himself' for allowing Russia probe to proceed

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE said Sunday that former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE "should be ashamed of himself" for allowing the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference to proceed, levying yet another attack on one of his favorite targets for criticism.

Trump issued a series of tweets attacking the investigation as a "Democrat scam" that is "very bad for our country," and pushing the unproven theory among some conservatives that Mueller's team has led witnesses to make false statements. 

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"People are starting to see and understand what this Witch Hunt is all about," Trump added. "Jeff Sessions should be ashamed of himself for allowing this total HOAX to get started in the first place!" 

Mueller's investigation has thus far implicated former Trump associates Michael Flynn, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosBarr: It would be a crime for president to pardon someone in exchange for their silence Press: What dirt does Putin have on Trump? Tweets, confirmations and rallies: Trump's year in numbers MORE, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell The case for Russia sanctions The Hill's Morning Report — Nasty shutdown fight gets nastier MORE, Richard Gates and Michael Cohen, as well as more than 20 Russians.

Cohen, who for years worked at the Trump Organization, was sentenced last week to three years in prison for bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations he said he committed at Trump's direction.

The president has denied directing Cohen to break the law.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year as part of Mueller's investigation, has been a figure of conservative sympathy in recent months.

Trump and others have seized on a suggestion from Flynn's defense attorneys that Trump's former national security adviser had been duped by FBI agents who handled his interview to argue Flynn had been wrongly led to commit a federal crime.

In a court filing on Friday, Mueller rebuked that assertion.

“Nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI on January 24,” Mueller wrote, asking a federal judge to reject Flynn’s attempt to “minimize the seriousness of those false statements to the FBI.”

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday morning found that 62 percent of respondents believe Trump has been untruthful about the Russia investigation, while 50 percent said the investigation has given them at least some doubts about his presidency. Forty-four percent said it has not given them additional doubts.

Trump forced Sessions to resign last month in a widely anticipated move.

Trump had for months publicly derided Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation, and at one point suggested he only appointed him to the Cabinet post because the former Alabama senator had shown loyalty during the 2016 campaign.

The president appointed Matthew Whitaker to take over as acting attorney general, and has since nominated former Attorney General William Barr for the post full time.

The pick is likely to be highly scrutinized by Democrats, many of whom viewed Sessions's ouster as a threat to the special counsel's investigation.