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Democrats, Sanders Blast Trump on Claims Against Obama

Democrats in the United States Senate came out strong today after Donald Trump’s weekend Twitter meltdown in which he accused President Obama of personally ordering wire-tapping against him last year. Trump’s charges were made all the more ridiculous, given that the U.S. president does not have the authority to make such a unilateral request.

“The White House has offered no clear evidence or facts to support this claim,” said Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), in a statement. “The President should stop these absurd attempts to distract from the real oversight needed on Russian interference.”

“The President’s repeated practice of making bizarre and unsubstantiated statements undermines the truth and tarnishes the integrity of our democratic institutions. It is patently clear that and independent special prosecutor is needed to fully investigate Trump Administration and campaign connections to Russia and Russian interference so the American people can learn the truth and regain confidence in our democracy.”

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) echoed Bennet’s belief that Trump is simply trying to distract the American people from larger issues involving Russia, saying on Twitter “Trump’s tweets are designed to distract from Russian election, possible collusion with Trump officials and potential cover-up.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that the latest Twitter tantrum only perpetuates the much larger issue of Trump’s inability to tell the truth and to distinguish reality from fantasy.

“President Trump cannot continue to lie, lie, lie. It diminishes the office of the president and our standing in the world,” said Sanders. “Mr. Trump claimed without any evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower last year — a claim which the FBI and intelligence officials have rejected as false.”

Here’s more from Sanders:

“He said that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally. Another lie. He said ‘it looked like a million and a half people’ at his inauguration. Not even close. He said his 2016 victory ‘was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.’ Also a lie.

“And Mr. Trump has been lying long before he was president when he started the ‘birther’ conspiracy against President Obama in an attempt to delegitimize our country’s first black president. The United States will not be respected or taken seriously around the world if Donald Trump continues to shamelessly lie.”

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) agreed that Trump is using his ludicrous allegations against Obama to derail the news cycle from the issue of his administration’s close ties to Russia and the extent to which he now occupies the White House based on that interference.

“I’ll remind you that the big issue here that I think President Trump is trying to distract us from is whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign and our last presidential election, and the larger issue that faces all of us is whether we’re going to defend our democracy against Russian aggression,” said Coons.

And, like Sanders, Coons reinforced the notion that Trump wouldn’t recognize the truth if it was as sexy to him as Vladimir Putin praising his intellect.

“Let’s remember the record here. Donald Trump dedicated years of his life to running around our country claiming that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States without a shred of evidence, and immediately after his election claimed millions of people voted illegally and demanded an investigation, which even in this investigation-prone Republican Congress they haven’t taken him up on it because there’s no evidence of that either.”

Blumenthal Calls for Independent Counsel on Flynn Case

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is demanding a special counsel in the case of Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who resigned yesterday after less than 30 days in the Trump administration. Flynn quit after it was revealed that he lied to the White House about his conversation with a Russian official in which he discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by Barack Obama, over interference in the November U.S. elections.

“There are very serious questions about who knew what and when,” said Blumenthal today from the Senate floor. “These classic what did they know and when did they know it questions must be answered by an independent counsel or commission, and the reason that it must be independent is the same very profoundly important reason that I gave to then-nominee Jeff Sessions, now Attorney General.”

Blumenthal made it clear that it was Sessions’ closeness with Trump for the entirety of the presidential campaign and during the transition that made him question the new Attorney General’s objectivity.

“I certainly have respect for the office of the Attorney General, but Jeff Sessions was deeply involved in President Trump’s campaign and in the presidential transition, and I expressed to him in the hearing on his nomination that he would have to distance himself from an investigation of exactly these issues to maintain impartiality and objectivity in that investigation.”

Most importantly, the Connecticut Democrat emphasized that this investigation must have an unending reach and that it must include a probe into how soon Trump knew that Flynn was having these discussions with the Russian government.

“The Attorney General must appoint a special counsel in cases where there is reason to question his complete impartiality and objectivity. The reality as well as the appearance mandate here that there be an independent investigation by a special counsel.

“Only a special counsel independent of the Attorney General and of the White House can ask with penetrating, aggressive, unflinching analysis whether the President knew before Michael Flynn made those phone calls to the Russian ambassador and other phone calls to other foreign powers, what the subjects of the conversation were, even whether they were going to be made.”

Indicating that nobody in Congress should be willing to push this critical issue under the carpet, Blumenthal said the topic was much bigger than just this single circumstance.

“This issue is about more than just a phone call to the Russian ambassador. It is about the integrity and honesty of public officials about the protections that we give to our intelligence and about the independence of our justice system.”

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