By Josh Dawsey,
President Trump labeled Sen. Dianne Feinstein “sneaky” in a Twitter attack Wednesday morning and urged Republicans to “take control” of the sprawling investigation into his administration and campaign and potential collusion with Russia.
Trump attacked Feinstein (D-Calif.) for releasing a transcript of private testimony from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson on Tuesday — testimony from last summer that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have declined to release.
Simpson’s political intelligence firm commissioned a dossier into Trump’s Russia ties, and Republicans have used Simpson as a cudgel against the probe into the White House, saying that it helped spur the investigation and should be discredited. Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), committee chair, and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), also on the committee with Feinstein, have referred Simpson for criminal prosecution.
Trump has attacked the dossier and called it “very fake,” although its contents have not been proven or disproved.
“The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!” Trump tweeted.
Last fall, Feinstein, 84, announced her decision to seek a sixth Senate term this year.
Trump also had an exchange with Feinstein over immigration during a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday.
During the part of the meeting open to news cameras, Trump appeared to agree with the California Democrat on making a deal on the DACA, or “dreamers,” program without other requirements that he and congressional Republicans have sought, including money to build a wall on the Mexican border. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) soon interrupted the president to try to steer him back on course.
The White House left the exchange out of an official transcript Tuesday but corrected it Wednesday morning after being asked about it.
Minutes after he slammed Feinstein on Twitter on Wednesday, Trump turned to the Russia investigation, which he called the “single greatest Witch Hunt in American history” and adding that “Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing.”
The investigation led by special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III has so far led to a guilty plea from Trump former national security adviser Michael Flynn and charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. A number of Trump’s closest aides and associates have been interviewed, including son-in-law Jared Kushner. The investigation is expected to last through much of the year.
It was unclear what Trump meant by saying that Republicans should take control. He has raged about the various congressional investigations into his administration, which are led by Republicans.
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