Monday, 1 Jun 2020

Republican Mitt Romney 'sickened' by Mueller report's description of Trump, aides

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Republican Senator Mitt Romney said on Friday (April 19) that he was “sickened” and “appalled” by what Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed about President Donald Trump and his aides, while most Republicans declined to comment on the explosive report.

“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president,” Romney said in a statement.

“I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia – including information that had been illegally obtained, that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine.”

Released on Thursday after a nearly two-year investigation, Mueller’s report detailed a huge amount of cooperative but not criminal contacts between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia that assisted the Republican against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The report also detailed numerous acts by the president that supported allegations of obstruction of justice, though Mueller, constrained by Justice Department rules, could not himself recommend charges against Trump.

Trump declared victory and exoneration after the report, and later labeled Mueller’s work “total b******t.”

But other Republicans have been mute. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted Friday that Americans should be alarmed at Russian interference and “relieved” that Trump didn’t collaborate.

Romney, who in 2016 vied with Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, was alone among Republicans in criticising the White House for its behavior.

Mueller described Trump and aides as habitually lying about their actions and running roughshod over principles of law a they battled the investigation.

“Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders” of the United States, Romney said.

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