President Trump, in another move to discredit and end accusations his White House campaign colluded with Russia, on Saturday called attention to recent Senate testimony linking the Kremlin to a dossier compiled to discredit him.
“Firm behind anti-Trump dossier also worked for Russia, Senate witness says,” Trump said in one of two tweets referring to a Fox News story discussed Saturday on “Fox & Friends.”
“In other words, Russia was against Trump in the 2016 Election - and why not, I want strong military & low oil prices. Witch Hunt!,” Trump said in the second tweet.
Rumors about the so-called Trump dossier emerged during the 2016 campaign. The content of the dossier was made public days before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration but quickly and widely dismissed as nonfactual and a smear effort.
Trump’s presidency has been mired in the Russia controversy and the numerous related investigations.
On Thursday, Bill Browder, chief executive and co-founder of Hermitage Capital, told a Senate panel that the company behind the infamous dossier also worked "on behalf of the Russian government" to fight U.S. sanctions that had enraged Moscow's elite.
And he shed new light on the dealings of the controversial company, Fusion GPS.
According to Browder, the company also conducted a "smear campaign" against Trump in a bid to fight Russia sanctions.
Browder also testified that the smear campaign was orchestrated by Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who sought the highly scrutinized Trump Tower meeting last June with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Browder's testimony skewered Fusion and co-founder Glenn Simpson.
He said the Russian lawyer, working through an intermediary, hired Simpson to "conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of a congressional hearing on the Global Magnitsky Act."
Browder had hired the late Sergei Magnitsky to uncover details of massive financial fraud in Russia involving corrupt Russian government officials.
Magnitsky was imprisoned and ultimately beaten to death by Russian officers in Moscow. In the wake of his death, the U.S. passed a law in his name that brought sanctions against Russian oligarchs suspected of money laundering.
Browder described the tactics Simpson allegedly used to discredit him and Magnitsky.
“Glenn Simpson was pitching a story to journalists that Magnitsky had not been murdered, but died of natural causes; that he wasn’t a whistleblower, but a criminal, and that the story I told Congress was incorrect,” Browder said Thursday, adding they were “unsuccessful for the most part” in getting that story written.
Left unclear in Thursday's hearing was what connection there might have been between the Russians and the anti-Trump dossier commissioned by Fusion GPS.
Browder was questioned by multiple senators Thursday on that issue but said he was a “bystander” in regard to the dossier and its crude allegations against Trump, as he had only read reports in the press.