Trump now says ‘collusion is not a crime,’ echoing Giuliani’s defense

Trump now says ‘collusion is not a crime,’ echoing Giuliani’s defense

Trump, who has long complained about the criminal probe into his White House victory, said the idea that his campaign worked with Moscow was a "Total Hoax" in a series of tweets aimed at undermining the integrity of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Mueller has already accused Trump's former campaign chairman and another top aide of working as foreign agents for Ukrainian interests and funneling millions of dollars from the work into offshore accounts used to fund lavish lifestyles.

The first trial arising from the probe into Russia's role in the election began on Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia.

His former campaign manager Paul Manafort is facing charges of tax and bank fraud, with the jury selection due to begin today.

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Mueller is reportedly investigating whether Trump obstructed justice and has looked at the president's tweets as a focus of that investigation.

The Republican president has steadily attacked his attorney-general for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe in March 2017. "He's referring to a dispute which I imagine Mueller - I imagine he disclosed it to [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein when he appointed him, because it would involve something that actually wasn't settled even to this day", Giuliani said. "I turned him down to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation (one day before appointment as special counsel) and Comey is his close friend", Mr Trump said. But so far, there haven't been any known formal complaints raised by Trump's legal team as they insist they are still cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

A White House official told CNN past year that Trump interviewed Mueller as a potential replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey.

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The man heading Trump's re-election campaign, Brad Parscale, has in recent months called on Trump to fire Sessions and end the Mueller probe.

The President has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and he told The New York Times in December that "collusion is not a crime".

The possible defense is a marked departure from what Trump and his advisors have maintained for months - that there was "no collusion" with Russian Federation during the 2016 elections.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpYemeni-American man kills himself after family blocked from entering U.S. by Trump admin Dershowitz on MSNBC panel: "Don't you dare accuse me" of defending Trump Bannon slams Kochs: "What they have to do is shut up and get with the program" MORE's lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday dismissed the investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, saying that collusion is "not a crime".

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