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Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 4:01 AM
In the wake of a fresh round of indictments in the wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and Sunday to repeatedly express his frustration with the probe, again proclaiming his innocence, attacking his critics, and demanding attention instead on actions of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton.
"I never said Russia did not meddle in the election," the President tweeted on Sunday morning - though Mr. Trump has been very slow to embrace the concept that Russia was at fault, as he derided the investigations into Russian interference in 2016.
"They are laughing their asses off in Moscow," the President said on Twitter. "Get smart America!"
Those were just a sampling of a number of tweets from this weekend, as the President let off steam on a number of fronts.
The President even rebuked his own National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, over a point that Mr. Trump and his supporters have zeroed in on repeatedly - a lack of evidence that ties any Russian operation to the Trump Campaign.
"General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians," as the President again tried to switch the attention of the moment to questions that the GOP has raised about Hillary Clinton, the Steele Dossier, and the Democratic National Committee.
"The Fake News Media never fails," the President wrote on Saturday, repeatedly making the argument that any Russian interference in 2016 did not tip the scales of the election in his favor.
"Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President," the President added.
"The Russian "hoax" was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!" he tweeted.
Critics of the President noted what was missing in his Saturday and Sunday tweets about the Russia investigation was any pledge by Mr. Trump to implement tougher sanctions against Russia which were approved by the Congress, or to order tougher measures to stop any Russian meddling.
Last week, the nation's top intelligence officials all agreed that Russia was going to try to repeat their 2016 effort in the 2018 election - asked by Democrats if there was any specific order from the President to focus on that threat, the intelligence chiefs only indicated that they were focused on the matter.
"Look, this is pretty simple," said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former head of the National Security Agency. "The Russians objective was to mess with our heads."
"Based on his late PM - this AM joint Twitter meltdown, it's safe to say "Trump" is having a nervous breakdown as Mueller's walls close in," said John Schindler, a former U.S. intelligence official who has been highly critical of the President's statements on the Russia probe.
Late on Saturday night, the President also drew in the Russia investigation to criticize the FBI over the mass shooting at a high school in Florida last week.
" They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign," the President said.
Here is the latest Russia indictment from last Friday.
It wasn't clear what had spurred the rush of weekend tweets from the President - but they generated a lot of reaction on Mr. Trump's favorite social media venue.
For some of the President's supporters, his tweets were just what the doctor ordered.
One note - that tweet comes from Michael Flynn, Jr., the son of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn - who has already plead guilty in the Russia investigation, and is currently cooperating with the Mueller investigation.