Trump tries to reverse ‘Russia ties’ claims on ‘hypocrite’ Schumer

In an attempt to reverse US media claims of his administration’s ties with Russia, US President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer with Vladimir Putin, calling the Democrat senator a “hypocrite.”

Schumer fired back, saying that the meeting was in “full view of press and public.”

Trump posted a photo of Schumer and Russian President Vladimir Putin eating doughnuts during Putin’s visit to New York back in 2003. “A total hypocrite!” Trump wrote.

Schumer immediately fired back, saying the meeting was in “full view of press and public,” and that he is ready to talk about the event.

Trump also asked for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be questioned over her ‘close ties to Russia.’ Pelosi earlier claimed that she has never met Kislyak. However, a file photo, found by Politico, allegedly from 2010, shows her sitting at a table with the Russian ambassador.

Alleged Russian ties with US officials in the Trump administration has been a hot topic in the US media, with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the headlines.

Kislyak was reported to have communications first with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and then with Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.

READ MORE: Sessions scandal: ‘US heading to constitutional crisis’

A CNN article from Thursday added fuel to the scandal, claiming that “current and former US intelligence officials have described Kislyak as a top spy and recruiter of spies.”

Sessions, however, denied any wrongdoing in meeting with Kislyak, saying the two brief encounters had nothing to do with the presidential campaign. He recused himself from any investigations into the campaign.

Schumer, meanwhile, called for Sessions’ immediate resignation.

Trump described the scandal around Sessions as “a total witch hunt.”

The attorney-general is not the first official in the Trump administration facing allegations of having contacts with Russian officials. Earlier, Flynn stepped down as national security adviser after being accused by the media of discussing sanctions on Russia with Kislyak. Both he and the Russian Embassy denied the discussion ever took place.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the whole situation resembled the days of McCarthyism, “which we long thought have passed in the US, a civilized country.”