WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed his total vindication in the investigation into alleged ties between his 2016 election campaign and Russia, rousing supporters at a political rally late Thursday with a blistering attack against cheerleaders of the 22-month probe by a special counsel.
In the 82-minute speech, Trump said the “group of major losers” went beyond personal attacks and tried to tear up the fabric of American democracy, refusing to accept the results of the presidential election. They were “trying to sabotage the will of the American people” Trump told the boisterous rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He warned that those behind the probe "would be held accountable."
Although special counsel Robert Mueller’s report has not been released, the president is claiming it totally exonerates him based on a four-page summary released by the Justice Department this past Sunday.
The summary, written by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, states that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
But taking a victory lap on the rally stage, Trump declared that “after three years of lies, smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over.”
Trump unleashed particular vitriol at two powerful House Democrats, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, who are among those in Congress vowing to continue investigating him, his election campaign and Trump businesses.
Earlier in the day, Schiff faced calls from Republicans to resign as committee chairman. He immediately hit back at them citing what he called “evidence of collusion” between Trump and Russia.
Nadler is among the Democrats requesting Barr send Congress the full Mueller report by April 2.
“Show us the report and we'll come to our own conclusions,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday in a message directed at the attorney general.
Pelosi questioned what the president and the Republicans are afraid of, mocking them as “scaredy-cats.”
Trump, on stage in Michigan, said the Democrats “will now have to decide if they will continue defrauding the country with ridiculous bulls--t.”
Trump also continued with his criticism of the “fake news media,” who he accused of teaming with “the deep state” of trying but failing to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
“Many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly our country was hurt,” said Trump.
Thursday’s verbal barrages fired by the Republican president and the opposition Democrats put on stark display the deepening political divide in America.
A diverse group of Democrats, including six women, as well as black, Hispanic and openly gay candidates, is vying to challenge Trump in 2020.