During an interview with the right-wing news outlet The Daily Caller on Wednesday, President Donald Trump suggested that FBI officials were unable to thoroughly investigate the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas due to the ongoing Russia probe.
Newsweek reported that Trump’s interview came on the same day that the FBI released its report on Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people at a Las Vegas concert and injured nearly 1,000 more.
The report indicated no motive for the shooting and closed out the investigation.
The interviewer opined that perhaps greater resources were devoted to the Russia investigation than the Las Vegas shooting, saying: "I wonder how many resources in the FBI were committed to the Paddock case [versus] committed to the Mueller investigation. How much money was spent? How many people were on those things? How do those two things compare?"
Trump took the opportunity to once again bash the special counsel investigation as a “hoax” and waste of money:
"What a great question that is. It’s one of the better questions. I hope you’re going to play your question because that is a very interesting — you’re talking about, I guess they’re well over 30 million dollars now on this Russian collusion hoax, and everybody knows it’s a hoax," Trump said.
"But that is very interesting to ask, where you’ve had so many people killed, and so badly wounded, because I went to the hospital. You had people so badly wounded. People never talk about the wounded. The level of hurt and devastation for a whole lifetime. You know, many people just devastated for a lifetime. They’ll never be the same. And you look at that by comparison to the Russian hoax, it’s a shame. The Russian witch hunt, it’s a shame," he continued.
Despite numerous indictments and a handful of guilty pleas and convictions, Trump has long maintained that the probe into Russian interference and the potential cooperation of his campaign is nothing more than a “witch hunt.”
Most recently, Trump associate Roger Stone was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller with seven counts, including witness tampering, obstruction, and lying to Congress.