Thousands of protesters gathered around the country in a series of "March for Truth" rallies on Saturday. Demonstrators were calling for a congressional independent commission to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

In full view of the White House, protesters in Washington, D.C., demanded answers in the ongoing Russia probe. Chants of "Investigate Trump!" and "Resist, resist!" rang across the National Mall.

Some protesters even lined up together to spell out "Investigate Trump."

"I want to know what the ties are to Russia," said Atossa Shafaie, who joined protesters in the nation's capital. "I want to know how Russia has infiltrated our government. I don't think there's a question that they have."

Shafaie was among hundreds of fellow anti-Trump activists who argue that neither the Senate committee nor the special counsel can disassociate from politics sufficiently enough to uncover any potential collusion between the White House and Russia. That's why they want an independent commission.

They were also demanding that the president release his tax returns.

Marchers took to the streets in more than 100 cities including New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. Meanwhile, Trump supporters staged their own, smaller "Pittsburgh Not Paris" event in D.C. to show support of President Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. The rally, orchestrated by the Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Republican Party of Virginia, was a last-minute effort, The Hill reports.

A few demonstrators at the March for Truth told NPR what brought them out to rally on Saturday.

Christopher Prince

"It's important for us to stand up for truth. I think in this day and age when facts are being attacked, when truth-bearers are being attacked, it is important for us to stand in opposition to that."

Julie Locascio

"I'm outraged at how slow the investigation of the Trump-Russian possible collusion has been going. And the fact that the GOP is completely complicit."

Erin Gould, 16, with her mother, Elizabeth Burke

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