At his first political rally since the end of the Russia collusion probe, President Donald Trump on Thursday accused backers of the investigation of trying to overturn the 2016 election and attempting "illegally" to claim power.
Declaring the country "hurt" by the probe, Trump called his opponents "losers" and celebrated the fact the investigation had come to a close.
"After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over," he told a crowd of thousands at a Grand Rapids arena.
“The Russia witch hunt was a plan by those who lost the election to try and illegally regain power by framing innocent Americans – many of them, they suffered – with an elaborate hoax,” he said.
On Sunday, US Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's more than 300-page report about his investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election. The investigation did not establish that members of Trump's campaign conspired with Russia during the election.
The findings delighted the president and his inner circle, who spent the first two years of his administration confronting a cloud of suspicion over how the New York businessman and political novice won the White House.
With that cloud largely lifted, Trump has let loose, calling out those who supported the investigation and referring to evil acts of treason by his opponents.
Trump insists that the probe led by former FBI director Robert Mueller was concocted for political reasons by Democrats upset at his surprise 2016 election defeat of the favourite, Hillary Clinton.
Trump revisited that theme at the rally, knocking the media and Democrats and calling for accountability.
“These are sick people and there has to be accountability because it's all lies and they know it's lies,” Trump said.