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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Trump defends Stone commutation while assailing Russia investigation, Jeff Sessions

President Donald Trump on Saturday said Roger Stone was targeted by an "illegal Witch Hunt" in his first public comments since he commuted the prison sentence of his longtime ally.
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump.
“Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign - AND GOT CAUGHT!” he added, without evidence.

Trump commuted Stone's sentence Friday evening before he was due to report to prison next week after being convicted of seven felonies for crimes stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to help them win the 2016 election.
Trump also repeatedly returned to tweeting about one of his favorite targets — the Russia investigation — calling Saturday for the jailing and extradition of the so-called "Steele Dossier" author.
“This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail,” Trump tweeted about Christopher Steele. “A sick lier who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!”
Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS in 2016 to research Trump’s Russia ties, with funding from a law firm that represented the Democratic National Committee. Steele began providing the FBI with information about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia in 2016.
Steele has long been a punching bag for the president and his defenders, who have argued that officials within the Department of Justice conspired against Trump and his campaign.
Allies of Steele have repeatedly said the dossier was not the original basis for the FBI’s probe into Trump and Russia.
Trump’s call for Steele to be prosecuted came after retweeting a story about a London judge who ruled that a claim made in the dossier by the former British spy was “inaccurate and misleading.”
The president then took aim at Jeff Sessions, who Trump has frequently chastised and blamed for the Russia probe following his recusal as attorney general. Sessions is running for his old Senate seat in Alabama and faces former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in a primary runoff Tuesday.
“Big Senate Race in Alabama on Tuesday. Vote for @TTuberville, he is a winner who will never let you down.” Trump said. “Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!”
Trump left the White House in a motorcade Saturday morning, according to a pool report, likely heading to his Sterling, Va., golf club.

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