Trump denounces ‘Russian connection non-sense’

In this Feb. 9, 2017 photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senators on his Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Trump has disputed statements by at least three senators that his nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, voiced complaints to them about the president's recent attacks on the judiciary. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump appears to be faulting the Obama administration for being “too soft” on Russia, pointing to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine on President Barack Obama’s watch.

He tweeted, “Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?”

In that and a series of other morning tweets Wednesday, Trump appeared to be trying to distance himself from any appearance of close ties with Russia following published reports that U.S. agencies had intercepted phone calls last year between Russian intelligence officials and his 2016 campaign team.

Trump denounced “this Russian connection non-sense” as “merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”

Trump’s remarks come on the heels of the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after it was revealed that he’d reportedly discussed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. before Trump was sworn in.