President Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, suggesting the president’s supporters should pressure Sessions to focus the investigation into Russian election meddling on President Barack Obama’s administration.
Taking to Twitter, Trump said that the meddling occurred while Obama was in office and asked why his predecessor didn’t intervene.
“Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation?” Trump said in his tweet. “Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation?”
“Ask Jeff Session!” he concluded, misspelling the last name of his attorney general. (Trump later sent a new version of the tweet with the correct spelling.)
The morning tweet was the latest in Trump’s often-angry running commentary on the investigation in the five days since the Justice Department’s special counsel announced a sweeping indictment of what prosecutors say is a notorious Russian group of Internet trolls. On Friday, 13 individuals and three companies were charged with a long-running scheme to criminally interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
As he has in other tweets, Trump tried to deflect attention from questions about whether his campaign colluded with Russia — an allegation he has vigorously denied.
Wednesday’s tweet also offered further evidence of Trump’s continued fascination with Obama. On Tuesday, Trump claimed on Twitter that he has “been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.”
The Obama administration did take some actions toward Russia before the election, but its most significant retaliatory measure came after Trump’s victory. Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats and suspected intelligence agents to leave the United States, and he also imposed sanctions on some Russian individuals and organizations.
In August, Trump signed a sanctions bill that passed with large bipartisan majorities but said it was “seriously flawed” at the time. Since then, his administration has drawn criticism for failing to implement the sanctions.
Trump has publicly attacked Sessions for months on issues related to the Russia investigation. Over the summer, Trump expressed anger that Sessions — an early supporter of his presidential campaign — had recused himself from the investigation and said he would have picked someone else if he had known that would happen.