DC Daily: Trump 'congratulates' America on one-year anniversary of Russia investigation

DC Daily: Trump 'congratulates' America on one-year anniversary of Russia investigation
Posted at 7:42 AM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 10:47:08-04

Here's what's making headlines in the political world on Thursday, May 17, 2018:

Trump offers “congratulations” to America on one-year anniversary of Russia investigation
-- On the one-year anniversary of the start of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Trump shared his thoughts on the probe he has continually referred to as a “witch hunt.”

The president tweeted Thursday morning: “Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History...and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!”

He later added: “Despite the disgusting, illegal and unwarranted Witch Hunt, we have had the most successful first 17 month Administration in U.S. history - by far! Sorry to the Fake News Media and ‘Haters,’ but that’s the way it is!”

In one year, Mueller has brought charges against 19 people and three companies, including a former White House adviser, three former Trump campaign aides -- including the campaign chairman at the time -- a prominent Russian oligarch and a dozen Kremlin-backed trolls. In all, these defendants are facing a combined 75 criminal charges, ranging from alleged conspiracy against the United States, bank fraud and tax violations to lying to FBI investigators and identity fraud.

Five defendants have pleaded guilty -- most prominently, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, who are both cooperating with Mueller. Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who pleaded guilty to lying to the special counsel, is currently serving a 30-day prison sentence.

Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is fighting Mueller's charges in court.

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President faces backlash for “animals” remark
-- During a roundtable discussion on California’s sanctuary laws Wednesday, President Trump made a comment that has drawn criticism.

While surrounded by California officials, Trump attacked the state’s immigration policies and said, “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, and we’re stopping a lot of them. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals.”

Trump made the comment in response to an official’s statement on members of the gang MS-13.

The president’s son took to Twitter to respond to the criticism of the comment.

The president’s “animals” remark comes months after he reportedly referred to several nations as “s***hole countries” during a discussion on immigration.

CNN contributed to this report