Trump fumes at Ohr, asks ‘how the hell’ he is still employed

Trump fumes at Ohr, asks ‘how the hell’ he is still employed
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE on Wednesday again took aim at a Justice Department employee who has come under Republican scrutiny for his role in the Russia investigation.

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In a tweet, Trump asked “how the hell” Bruce Ohr is still employed at the Justice Department, calling it “disgraceful."

“How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful! Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted Thursday, employing a phrase he often uses to describe Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s into Russian interference.

The tweet came one day after House Republicans grilled Ohr behind closed doors over his ties to Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy that Fusion hired to produce the controversial dossier alleging links between Trump and Moscow.

The dossier, which was in part funded by Democrats, is central to Republican claims of systemic bias within the Justice Department and FBI during the Russia and Clinton email investigations. Critics see the charges as part of a broader effort to discredit Mueller’s investigation.

Trump's latest attack on Ohr also comes at a point when tensions between the president and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein faces Trump showdown Solicitor general could take over Mueller probe if Rosenstein exits 13 states accepted Sessions invitation to meeting on social media bias: report MORE have run high over DOJ chief's decision to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation last year.

Trump blasted Sessions in a televised interview on Fox last week, prompting the attorney general to issue a rare statement saying he "will not be improperly influenced" by political pressure. 

Trump has taken aim at Ohr in the past, calling him a “disgrace” earlier this month and threatening to revoke his security clearance. 

“I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace. I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly," Trump told reporters about the security clearance on Aug. 17. “For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace.”

Republicans have seized on the fact that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election. Ohr worked in the deputy attorney general’s office until late 2017, when he was demoted after it was revealed that he had contacts with Steele.

Steele’s research is cited in a surveillance renewal application that was used to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The Justice Department declined to comment Wednesday.

--This report was updated at 12:26 p.m.