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Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
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‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help to Trump’s 2016 campaign.

In a six-part morning tweetstorm, Trump accused the special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election of turning to other leads around the world after, in his words, finding no collusion or obstruction of justice in its ongoing probe.

He tweeted, "Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!"

The president was reacting to a lengthy story in the Times that said George Nader, purportedly representing the two Persian Gulf states, met with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, at Trump Tower in August 2016. The meeting was arranged by Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, a private security firm that has since changed its name.

The paper reported that Nader told Trump Jr. that Saudi and UAE princes were interested in helping his father win the election, and that an Israeli social media expert who also attended the meeting suggested ways to help manipulate public opinion. In the United States, it is illegal for campaigns to accept financial contributions from or coordinate with foreign governments in federal elections.

According to the newspaper, Trump Jr. reacted approvingly to the offer, though it is unclear whether any plan was put into action by the campaign. The Times reported that Nader is cooperating with the special counsel investigation, led by Robert Mueller III.

In his tweets, Trump asserted, without evidence, that investigations into his campaign’s connections with Russia have cost taxpayers nearly $20 million and suggested that it is a politically motivated effort to undermine his presidency. The president said Democrats were in charge of the probe, even though Mueller, a Republican, was appointed head of the FBI by President George W. Bush, a Republican, in 2001:

"....At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption..."

As he has in the past, Trump attempted to direct attention and blame onto Democrats, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign, raising old questions about emails she sent on a private server during her tenure as secretary of state in Barack Obama’s administration.

Read more: Analysis: Special counsel Mueller investigation enters Year Two. What comes next, and how it could end?

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