Democrats made up, pushed Russian story: Trump

Last Updated 20 March 2017, 16:45 IST

US President Donald Trump today accused the Democratic party of making up allegations about his campaign's links with Russia and the Russian interference in the presidential poll, saying federal investigators should now instead probe the media leaks of classified information.

"The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!" Trump said in a tweet, trashing the Democratic party's allegations about Russian meddling in the November 8 polls that brought the real-estate tycoon to power.

The Trump campaign's possible links with top Russian officials, which Trump has vehemently denied, was one of the main election issue and dominated the news cycle since his election and even after his inauguration on January 20.

Trump campaign's alleged links with Russian President Vladimir Putin have been the subject of intense debate and even more of speculation since his election.

Trump's taking aim at the Democrats came as FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Committee on Intelligence, where he said the federal agency was probing the allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential elections and the possible collusion between Trump campaign and Russia.

In a series of tweets before Comey's hearing, Trump said the "real story" the Congress and the FBI should be looking into was leaking of classified information to the media. "The real story that Congress, the FBI and all others should be looking into is the leaking of classified information. Must find (the) leaker now!" he said.

Trump also referred to statements by former spymaster James Clapper – the Director of the National Intelligence – that the Trump campaign had no collusion with the Russians.

"James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence POTUS (President of the United States) colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!" Trump said.

"What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians? Also, is it true that the DNC would not let the FBI in to look?" he said, suggesting without evidence that his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's campaign may have some connections with Russia.

US intelligence agencies have not raised the possibility of contacts between Clinton campaign and Russia publicly. They, however, had in January took the unusual step, stating they believe Russian hackers broke into the accounts of senior Democratic leaders with the aim of helping Trump in the polls.

Meanwhile in another tweet, the US president continued his fight with the mainstream media slamming CNN for conducting an opinion poll. "Just heard Fake News CNN is doing polls again despite the fact that their election polls were a WAY OFF disaster. Much higher ratings at Fox," Trump said.

(Published 20 March 2017, 16:45 IST)

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