As Russia probe turns to fake Facebook ads, Trump follows with a tweet

President Trump listens during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

President Trump continued his efforts to belittle accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election on Friday, turning to the latest set of charges, involving targeted political ads placed on Facebook by accounts linked to the Kremlin.

“The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?”

“The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media ‘screaming’ for Crooked Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “Next, she was a bad candidate!”

Facebook said Thursday it will turn over more than 3,000 ads sold to accounts linked to Russia to congressional investigators. The company first disclosed the ads, which were sold between June 2015 and May 2017, on Sept. 6.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign to influence the election, has copies of the ads and information about the accounts that purchased them.

Trump has repeatedly brushed off the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election with methods that included the spread of propaganda online. He has decried congressional and Justice Department investigations into the matter as a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

When Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the Group of 20 summit in July, Trump said he needled his counterpart on whether he had any part in the election meddling.

“I said, ‘Did you do it?’” Trump later recalled to Reuters. “And he said, ‘No, I did not. Absolutely not.’ I then asked him a second time in a totally different way. He said absolutely not.”

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