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24 Jul, 2017 11:14

Democrats & Russians 'laughing' at 'witch hunt' collusion probe – Trump

Democrats & Russians 'laughing' at 'witch hunt' collusion probe – Trump

Democrats and Russians are laughing at the investigation into Moscow's alleged US election interference, Donald Trump tweeted, once again calling the probe a "witch hunt."

The US president took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to denounce the "witch hunt," calling it an "excuse for a lost election."

Trump also took aim at fellow Republicans just minutes later, saying it was "sad" that they are "doing very little to protect their president."

Trump has long voiced his opposition to allegations that and his team he colluded with Russia to win the election, repeatedly calling the special counsel's investigation a "witch hunt." 

He stepped up his rhetoric after his son, Donald Trump Jr., was accused of aiding in the alleged collusion with Russia, when it emerged that he had met with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, during the campaign.

Defending his son on Twitter, Trump wrote that he was being "scorned by the fake news media," while also taking aim at his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is also embroiled in the allegations, as he was also present during Trump Jr.'s meeting with Veselnitskaya. He will face the Senate in a hearing on Monday.

In a written statement released on Monday before his appearance in the closed-door hearing, Kushner said he "did not collude" with Russia in any way.

"I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government," Kushner wrote, according to US media.

"I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector," he added.

Kushner said he had "perhaps four contacts with Russian representatives" during the campaign and presidential transition period after Trump's victory.

Meanwhile, Russia stated earlier this month that the Kremlin does not know Veselnitskaya, and that it was unaware of the meeting that took place. 

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that he was tired of the "hysteria" which the US "fails to cease." 

Russia has adamantly denied any collusion with the Trump campaign or interference in the election, and has repeatedly pointed to a lack of evidence to support those claims.

In late May, Putin agreed with Trump's belief that allegations of Russian meddling are being used by those who do not want to admit they lost the election fair and square.

“They...prefer deluding themselves and others into thinking it was not their fault...but someone from the outside thwarted them. But it was not so. They just lost and they have to admit it,” Putin said.

Despite a lack of evidence that Russia colluded with Trump or interfered in the election in any way, the FBI is continuing its probe, led by special counsel Robert Mueller. The Republican-led House and Senate are also conducting their own investigations.