Rally for thousands of diehard supporters held on same day Robert Mueller reportedly convened grand jury as part of investigation into alleged collusion

Donald Trump rallied thousands of diehard supporters against the investigation into his election campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, warning on Thursday: “They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story.”

In what might be seen as a bid to weaponise his populist base, the US president sought to discredit the allegations as a “total fabrication” on the same day it was reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury in Washington, a sign that his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election is escalating.

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