NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Fresh off good economic news — an increase of 209,000 jobs in July and a record stock market — President Donald Trump attended a hurricane briefing at FEMA headquarters Friday morning.
“We are very strong on Homeland Security and we are very strong with respect to FEMA,” Trump said.
But Thursday night at a rally in West Virginia the focus was on the Russia investigation.
“The Russia story is a total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. That’s all it is,” Trump said.
As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, the comments came after news broke that Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation, has reportedly convened a grand jury probing possible collusion between the Trump for President campaign and Russia.
The special counsel has reportedly issued subpoenas in connection with the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.
The president’s lawyers say they have no reason to believe the president himself is under investigation.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is criticizing leakers, accused of releasing sensitive intelligence material, including transcripts of President Trump’s phone calls with international leaders published in The Washington Post.
“This culture of leaking must stop,” Sessions said. “No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.”
“Any disclosure outside of authorized channels is a criminal offense and we will simply not tolerate the illegal release of classified information,” National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said.
Sessions said since January, the department has more than tripled the number of active leak investigations compared to the number pending at the end of the last administration.
The president’s first vacation since the inauguration begins Friday night when he travels to Bedminster, New Jersey and will spend 17 days at Trump National Golf Course.