"GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX": Trump Reams 2018 Schiff - Simpson Meeting In Aspen

President Trump lashed out over Twitter Friday, first slamming Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) after The Hill's John Solomon reported that House Intelligence Committee chairman had a "Forrest Gump-like encounter" with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson at last July's prestigious Aspen Security Conference. 

Fusion GPS produced the "hoax" Trump-Russia dossier commissioned by the Clinton Campaign, which relied on Kremlin sources for a series of salacious and largely unproven claims. The dossier was a foundational document used by the Obama administration to surveil the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. 

Solomon writes that photos from the Aspen security conference show Schiff and Simpson meeting, which both men insisted was only a brief encounter. 

When confronted with the Aspen conference photos of Schiff, in sport coat and open-neck dress shirt, and Simpson, wearing casual attire, representatives for both men tried to minimize their discussion, insisting nothing substantive about the Russia case was discussed. -The Hill

Shockingly, Simpson was an important witness in front of the House Intelligence Committee at the time - of which Schiff was the ranking Democrat. Simpson had "given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign," Solomon writes. 

What's more, Schiff had heard testimony from former DOJ #4 Bruce Ohr which suggested that Simpson may have lied to lawmakers

Specifically, Simpson claimed he had not begun meeting with Ohr until after Thanksgiving 2016, well after the FBI had begun investigating Trump-Russia collusion and after the presidential election in which Simpson's client, Clinton, lost to Trump.

But Ohr provided compelling evidence, including calendar notations, testimony and handwritten notes, showing that Simpson met with him in August 2016, well before the election and during a time when Steele was helping the FBI start an investigation into Trump. -The Hill

Fusion GPS tried to downplay the Aspen encounter, telling Solomon in a statement: "In the summer of 2018, Mr. Simpson attended a media-sponsored social event where he exchanged small talk with Rep. Schiff and many other people who were in attendance. The conversation between the two was brief and did not cover anything substantive. There has been no subsequent contact between Mr. Simpson and Rep. Schiff."

Schiff's comment was less specific. "The chairman did not have any pre-planned meeting with Glenn Simpson, and any conversation with him at the Aspen conference would have been brief and social in nature," said Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland. 

We're sure they discussed yoga and weddings. 

Or as Solomon writes: "Translation: This was just a Forrest Gump-like moment in which the Democrats’ chief defender of the dossier and the man whose firm produced it met serendipitously."

Trump then slammed the Russia investigation as a "GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX, developed long before the election itself, but used as an excuse by the Democrats as to why Crooked Hillary Clinton lost the Election!" 

Trump also noted that the mainstream media has "refused to cover the fact that the head of the VERY important Senate Intelligence Committee, after two years of intensive study and access to Intelligence that only they could get, just stated that they have found NO COLLUSION between “Trump” & Russia.""

On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that his committee's Russia investigation has yet to find evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, and will soon release a report on the Obama administration's response to Russian interference in the last US election, reports Politico

In an interview with CBS published Thursday, Burr (R-N.C.) gave glimpses into the dynamics and scope of his committee's probe, which was launched shortly before Trump's 2017 inauguration and has now stretched into its third year. Burr told CBS that the committee staff has interviewed more than 200 witnesses from multiple countries and reviewed over 300,000 pages.

"Based on the evidence to date," Burr said, the committee could not definitively say there was collusion between Trump and the Russians.

"If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don't have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia," Burr told CBS. -Politico

Burr suggested that some of the questions raised during the course of the investigation could occupy the committee "for the next decade," and some portions of the final report would be so classified that they are never made available to the public. 

Their findings on the Obama administration's response to Russian interference could come within a "matter of weeks."