George Papadopoulos and his wife arrive at federal court for sentencing. – AP
FARGO, ND (AP) – President Donald Trump said on Friday that the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is not only bad for the country, it’s “really, really unfair for the midterms”.
Trump said the inquiry should have been wrapped up a “long time ago”.
Asked about the investigation he has repeatedly denounced as a “witch hunt,” Trump reiterated his insistence that there was no collusion between anyone on his presidential campaign and the Russian government. He said it was long past time for the investigation to have ended.
“We have to get it over with. It’s really bad for the country. It’s really unfair for our midterms. Really, really unfair for the midterms,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “This thing should have been over with a long time ago.”
Trump has portrayed the probe as a waste of time that has lasted too long and been a distraction for the country. He again argued that the case was being prosecuted by partisan Democrats, even though Robert Mueller, who runs the investigation, is a lifelong Republican.
The president spoke to reporters in the midst of a two-day campaign swing through states where Republicans hope to expand their narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate by knocking off vulnerable Democratic Senators Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Trump was flying from Montana to North Dakota to attend a fundraiser for Republican Rep Kevin Cramer, Heitkamp’s opponent, when he spoke to reporters accompanying him on the trip, part of an intense campaign schedule Trump has planned through the November 6 elections.
He commented hours before a former campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, was sentenced to 14 days in prison by a federal judge in Washington for lying to the FBI as part of the Russia investigation.
In Fargo, Trump rattled off a list of what he considers his administration’s accomplishments as he sought to bolster his staunch ally Cramer.
The president pointed to the Republican congressman as the best choice for the state’s Native American community, reprising an argument he made to black voters in 2016. “I go right back to where I was two years ago when I was campaigning: What do you have to lose?” Trump asked.
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