Trump accuses FBI of ‘spending too much time’ on Russia probe

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump attacked the FBI and lawmakers probing alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and said an excessive focus on Russia led federal investigators to miss signs that could have prevented the deadly school shooting in Florida last week.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump accused president Barack Obama of failing to do enough to stop Russian election interference and belittled Representative Adam Schiff, of the House intelligence committee that is investigating Russia’s actions. Trump labeled Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the panel, a leaking “monster.”
Trump also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was “spending too much time” looking into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russia.
The tweets follow the announcement on Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller had charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with a conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 US election.
The indictment says Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive messages and staged political rallies while posing as Americans, among other charges. But the indictment was silent on the question of whether anyone from the Trump campaign coordinated or worked with Russians.
Russia has denied meddling in the US election and Trump has denied any collusion.
In a tweet on Saturday night, Trump criticised the FBI for missing warning signs in the case of Nikolas Cruz, 19, who is charged with killing 17 people on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
More than a dozen people were wounded in the deadliest shooting at a US high school.
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” Trump said on Twitter.
“They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no collusion,” added.
Cruz was investigated as far back as 2016 after slashing his arm in a social media video, and saying he wanted to buy a gun, but authorities determined he was receiving sufficient support, newspapers said on Saturday.
The FBI acknowledged on Friday that it failed to investigate a warning that Cruz possessed a gun and the desire to kill. — Reuters