Trump: Special counsel 'hurts our country'

President Trump denounces special counsel investigation into alleged links between his campaign and Russia.

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Ben Ariel,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the special counsel investigation into alleged links between his 2016 campaign and Russia's election hacking "hurts our country".

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country," Trump said at a luncheon with a group of television news anchors, according to an CNN report.

"And we have very important things to be doing right now, whether it's trade deals, whether it's military, whether it's stopping nuclear -- all of the things that we discussed today. And I think this shows a very divided country," Trump added.

The President also suggested that the investigation that will now be led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller was also motivated by an attempt to tarnish his election victory last year.

"It also happens to be a pure excuse for the Democrats having lost an election that they should have easily won because of the Electoral College being slanted so much in their way. That's all this is. I think it shows division, and it shows that we're not together as a country. And I think it's a very, very negative thing. And hopefully, this can go quickly, because we have to show unity if we're going to do great things with respect to the rest of the world," he stated.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department appointed Mueller as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His appointment was announced after Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously recused himself from any involvement in the Russia investigation due to his role as a prominent campaign adviser and surrogate.

Earlier on Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump said that he was being singled out in a way Democrats had not been.

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special (counsel) appointed," Trump tweeted. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history."

Trump responded to Mueller’s appointment in a restrained statement Wednesday night, in which he said that Mueller's "thorough investigation will confirm what we already know -- there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity."

While Trump has accepted intelligence reports concluding that Russia engaged in cyber attacks during the November presidential election, he has repeatedly lambasted as “fake news” any suggestion that he or his staff had connections to Russia.

Russia denies the allegations altogether.