On August 1, Donald Trump posted a Twitter message calling on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put a halt “right now” to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into what Trump called the “Rigged Witch Hunt,” referring to Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia in the 2016 Presidential Election campaign.
But his frantic Twitter post was apparently only one small signal of Trump’s obsession with ending the Mueller investigation, according to an account by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who played a round of golf with Trump over the weekend. Graham reported that during that single, private golf meeting, Trump talked about ending the Russia investigation repeatedly.
“Did Trump ask that question? He must have mentioned that about 20 times,” Graham said at an event in his home state of South Carolina on Tuesday, according to a report by NBC News, adding that he would not be part of stopping the investigation. “I told the president, ‘I know you don’t like it. I know you feel put upon. You just got to ride it out.'”
Graham also said that he told Trump that he was aware of “zero evidence” that Trump had snagged in collusion with Russia during the campaign — despite the fact that on Sunday Trump posted a Twitter message acknowledging that the now-well-known June 9, 2016, meeting between Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chief Paul Manafort and a group of Kremlin-linked Russians was intended “to get information on an opponent,” as Inquisitr reported.
According to the Federal Election Commission, accepting contributions or any “thing of value” from foreign nationals in a political campaign is illegal.
Graham himself has political connections to Russian business interests. According to a report by The Dallas Morning News, Graham in 2015 and 2016, through political action committees, accepted “millions of dollars” from Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik — who partnered with Russian oligarch Viktor Veksleberg to create the financial firm Renova.
Renova is the parent company of the U.S.-based firm Columbus Nova, which gave Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen about $500,000 in “consulting fees,” The Guardian reported. But Blavatnik and Vekselberg also own about 20 percent of the Russian aluminum-manufacturing giant Rusal, a company, Reuters reports, that was controlled by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who is under U.S. sanctions.
Deripaska is the Russian oligarch who loaned millions to Manafort, Reuters reports. In an effort to pay back the Russian billionaire, Manafort offered to give Deripaska “private briefings” on the Trump campaign when Manafort was running that campaign, The Washington Post reported.
Graham said that he told Trump, “‘I promise you, you’ll be treated fairly. I promise you that the people who put the Clinton investigation in the tank, they’re going to have their day too,'” according to NBC News.