By MARY CLARE JALONICK and CATHERINE LUCEY
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of being “underhanded and a disgrace” for disclosing details of a dossier of allegations about his ties to Russia during the campaign. He also again lashed out at the investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, urging Republicans to take control of the inquiries and repeating his claim that they are on a “witch hunt.”
A day earlier, Feinstein, who faces a primary challenge in her re-election this year, released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s closed-door August interview with an official from the political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the dossier. She released the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s interview over the objections of the committee’s Republican chairman, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. She is the top Democrat on the panel.
“The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace,” Trump tweeted. “Must have tough Primary!”
In a second tweet, he repeated his claim that the investigations are the “single greatest Witch Hunt” in the country’s history.
“There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes,” he wrote in a separate Tweet. “Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!”
Feinstein’s release was not illegal because the information wasn’t classified. And as the top Democrat on the committee, she didn’t need authorization from Grassley to release it. Her staff helped conduct the interview with Simpson.
Still, the release bucked the two lawmakers’ earlier attempts at bipartisanship on the committee’s Russia investigation. Grassley said he was “confounded” by the release and argued that it could undermine attempts to get additional witnesses.
Feinstein also sits on the Senate intelligence committee, which is conducting its own investigation into the Russian interference and whether Trump’s campaign was in any way involved. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is continuing, and his probe so far has resulted in charges against four of Trump’s campaign advisers.
Trump has often invoked Feinstein on the collusion issue. She said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Oct. 8 that there’s “no proof” yet that there was any collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign, adding: “I think that proof will likely come with Mr. Mueller’s investigation.”
Feinstein faces a primary from California state Senate leader Kevin de Leon.