President Donald Trump called Friday for investigations into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's links to Russia, sharing articles that appeared to show the Democratic lawmakers in past meetings with Moscow officials.
Trump, whose administration was rocked by accusations of maintaining secret links to Moscow, shared an article published Friday by Politico, which included a photo of Pelosi sitting across the table from Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2010. Pelosi previously denied meeting the Russian envoy in a Friday interview with Playbook. The former speaker of the house responded to the charge minutes later via Twitter, saying her meeting with Kislyak was open to the press and that her interview was not under oath, unlike Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Sessions quit an upcoming probe into the White House's relationship with Russian officials Thursday after the former senator himself was accused of lying about meeting the Russian ambassador during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Earlier Friday, Trump tweeted a photo of Schumer reportedly eating Krispy Kreme donuts with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump called Schumer "a total hypocrite" and asked that the New York legislator be investigated for his association with the Kremlin. The picture was taken at the opening of Lukoil gas station during Putin's 2003 trip to Manhattan, according to USA Today. Schumer also bit back at the president, saying his meeting was public and challenged Trump to go under oath about his relationship to Russia.
A number of individuals within Trump's administration, including the president himself, were scrutinized for maintaining close links with Russia before and after the election. Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned last month after The Washington Post published evidenced he had lied about his contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office in January.
Both the White House and the Kremlin denied any wrongdoing in their stated bid to improve U.S.-Russia relations, which soured under former President Barack Obama. Obama and his supporters accused Russia of sponsoring a series of hacks that released sensitive information in an alleged attempt to influence the U.S. election. An ongoing congressional committee into Trump's supposed links to Russia has not turned up any evidence of wrongdoing as of Monday.