WASHINGTON - Donald Trump lashed out once more Wednesday at the head of the Russia probe, Robert Mueller, accusing him of pressuring witnesses to lie, while retweeting an image that shows the U.S. president’s perceived adversaries behind bars.
“This is our Joe McCarthy era!” Trump declared in a tweet claiming that “at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief.”
Trump went on to retweet a crudely photoshopped image posted by a fan account called The Trump Train, under a banner headline that read: “NOW THAT RUSSIA COLLUSION IS A PROVEN LIE, WHEN DO THE TRIALS FOR TREASON BEGIN?”
Among the dozen figures it showed behind bars were former President Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mueller himself.
The image also depicted Rob Rosenstein, Trump’s own deputy justice chief, who had been overseeing Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election meddling until being supplanted earlier this month by a new acting attorney general seen as hostile to the special counsel’s inquiry.
The president’s latest assault comes amid a flurry of developments in Mueller’s probe, which is investigating whether Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded in a covert Russian attempt to help the Republican get elected.
Mueller’s team on Monday broke off a plea agreement with former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, accusing him of lying repeatedly to prosecutors.
The New York Times reported that Manafort’s lawyer has been briefing White House lawyers on his client’s discussions with federal prosecutors, giving them valuable insights into Mueller’s lines of inquiry.
Another witness, Jerome Corsi, said this week that Mueller’s team was preparing to indict him for lying about an email he sent August 2, 2016 alerting Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone to upcoming document dumps by WikiLeaks.
At key points during the campaign, WikiLeaks released email files hacked from the accounts of the Democratic National Committee and candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta.