Trump lambasts US justice department on Russia collusion probe

President brushes off Flynn co-operation in special inquiry saying he has ‘nothing to hide’

The guilty plea by Michael T Flynn, US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, brings the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election into Mr Trump’s inner circle. Video: The New York Times

 

Donald Trump lashed out at the Department of Justice on Saturday night, alleging it had mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, while unfairly targeting his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

“So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday “interrogation” with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times?.?.?.?and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?” Mr Trump tweeted.

“Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!” Mr Trump wrote.

In a US district court hearing on Friday, Mr Flynn confirmed he had lied to the FBI about conversations he had with former Russian ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak. The conversations concerned Russia’s response to sanctions imposed by the previous US administration, and a UN Security Council vote that was set to occur before the Trump administration took office.

‘Nothing to hide’

Mr Trump brushed off Mr Flynn’s co-operation in the wide-ranging special counsel investigation, telling reporters outside the White House on Saturday that he had “nothing to hide”, while also claiming victory on an overhaul of the US tax code.

The US president fired Mr Flynn 24 days into his White House appointment, citing the fact that Mr Flynn had lied about the conversations to vice-president Mike Pence.

The news that special counsel Robert Mueller has secured the co-operation of Michael Flynn, after bringing charges against three other members of Mr Trump’s campaign, came the same day that the Senate pushed through a long-awaited tax Bill that is set to be the first big legislative win of Mr Trump’s presidency.

Republicans passed the Senate Bill shortly before 2am by 51 votes to 49, with one Republican, Bob Corker, voting against legislation that would deliver significant tax cuts for US corporations, and some smaller cuts to individual US taxpayers.

‘Unbeatable’

“Right now, unless they have somebody that we don’t know about, right now we are unbeatable, we are unbeatable,” Mr Trump said during a fundraiser appearance at Manhattan’s Cipriani restaurant on Saturday.

“And one of the reasons, one of the reasons, is what’s happening with the markets, what’s happening with business, what’s happening with jobs.”

“If you look at it, consumer confidence at a 17-year high. I think it’s an all-time high consumer confidence. Business confidence, all-time high. Everything is like at an all-time high, including the big one, it’s called the stock market at an all-time high,” Mr Trump said.

On Monday, the US House of Representatives and Senate will begin reviewing the two separate tax Bills that each chamber has passed, in attempt to merge them into a single piece of legislation that will be put on Mr Trump’s desk. The president has said he would like to sign the Bill by Christmas.

– Financial Times