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Trump again calls for end to Mueller probe, says it's 'witch hunt'

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US President repeats claim of no collusion with Russia as Mueller investigation deepens

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Saturday renewed his call to end a federal probe into Russian election meddling, describing the investigation as a "witch hunt" a day after US prosecutors detailed a previously unknown attempt by a Russian to help his 2016 presidential election campaign.

"Time for the Witch Hunt to END!" Mr Trump tweeted. His tweet also quoted television host and friend Geraldo Rivera dismissing any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as "collusion illusion".

It was the president's second tweet of the day about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Mr Trump's campaign colluded with Russia. Russia denies meddling allegations.

"After two years and millions of pages of documents (and a cost of over $30 million) no collusion!" Mr Trump tweeted earlier on Saturday.

He repeated that contention later as he left the White House for the annual Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, saying: "We're very happy with what we are reading, because there was no collusion whatsoever."

US prosecutors, however, did not address in several federal court filings on Friday whether they have found collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Moreover, Mr Mueller said in one filing that Mr Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, had provided his office with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with Mr Trump's real estate company during the 2016 campaign.

Democrats and other Trump critics fear that newly appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, could fire Mr Mueller or undermine the investigation by cutting off its funding. Prominent Republicans in Congress insist that there is no danger of interference.

Mr Trump said on Friday that he would nominate former Attorney General William Barr to the nation's top law enforcement job. But with the current session of Congress set to end soon, Mr Barr may have to wait until well into 2019 to be confirmed by the Senate.


In his court filing on Friday, Mr Mueller said Cohen revealed he was approached in November 2015 by an unnamed Russian claiming to be a "trusted person" in the Russian Federation".

The filing said the contact occurred during discussions about a possible hotel bearing Mr Trump's name in Moscow.

Cohen is to be sentenced next week for campaign finance violations, financial crimes and lying to Congress about Mr Trump's business dealings in Russia. - REUTERS