President Donald Trump took a swipe at the allegations concerning his campaign’s collusion with Russia during a rally in West Virginia on Thursday night, where he credited the American people for propelling him to victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“We didn’t win because of Russia,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington. “We won because of you. That I can tell you.”
“We won because millions of patriotic Americans voted to take back their country,” he continued. “Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia, or Ohio, or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians here tonight?”
Trump’s remarks come amid reports that Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued grand jury subpoenas connected to Donald Trump Jr.’s much-vaunted 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who allegedly has ties to the Kremlin.
Mueller is hoping to obtain both documents and testimony from all parties involved in the meeting after an email chain surfaced indicating that the sit down was arranged so that the Trump campaign could obtain damaging information about Clinton, CNN reported, citing anonymous sources.
The president waved away the Russian meddling probe as a “total fabrication” that has been orchestrated by his opponents in the mainstream media – and perhaps even within his administration – to discredit his leadership.
“What the prosecutors should be looking at are Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails,” Trump quipped.
He went on to paint the Russia investigation as a Democratic plot to regain control in the 2018 midterm elections.
“They can’t beat us at the voting booths so they’re trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you won,” Trump said. “They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership you won, with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us.”
Trump also appeared to acknowledge the developing Muller story head-on, stating: “I just hope the final determination is a truly honest one, which is what the millions of people who gave us our big win in November deserve.”