In a September 26, 2003 file image, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, second from right to left, tour the first Lukoil gas station in New York. Scout Tufankjian, AP Photo Archive

With his government under siege over contacts with Russian officials, President Donald Trump called for “an immediate investigation” of Senate minority leader Democrat Charles Schumer for his alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s evidence is a photo taken 14 years ago in which Schumer and Putin appear drinking coffee with donuts at a gas station in New York City.

On Friday, the president tweeted the photo along with an appeal to investigate Schumer for his “ties with Russia and Putin” and called the New York senator “a true hypocrite.” Trump did not indicate the origin of the photograph, but Schumer quickly noted that it was taken in 2003 when Putin traveled to New York to celebrate the opening of a gas station of the Russian company Lukoil in western Manhattan.

Several media reported on that event, which attracted more political stars than those who would attend the opening of an average gas station.

Schumer, in his own tweet, responded that “he would gladly speak” under oath over his meeting with Putin which took place “in full view of the press and the public.” Then he challenged Trump to do the same. And shortly afterwards published a commentary in which he made fun of the accusations by pointing out “and whoever it was, they were Krispy Kreme’s donuts”.

On the same trip to the United States in 2003, Putin went to Camp David, Maryland, where he met with Republican President George W. Bush and both held a joint press conference.

Trump’s tweet comes a few hours after the Conservative portal Drudge Report used photography as its cover. This happened a day after the photo was released on a blog in favor of Trump, Gateway Pundit, who accompanied it with the heading “Where is the indignation?”.


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