Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024

Donald Trump hails 'complete and total exoneration' after Robert Mueller' CLEARS his campaign of Russia collusion

PRESIDENT Donald Trump hailed Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election as a "complete and total exoneration".

It comes after special counsel Mueller did NOT find any evidence Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow to influence the presidential election.


After the much-anticipated report found Trump and his team did not collude with Russia, the president tweeted: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"

Speaking to reporters at Palm Beach in Florida, Trump said "it's a shame that our country has had to go through this" and "hopefully somebody's going to look at the other side".

He described the inquiry as an "illegal take down that failed" and said the idea of collusion with Russia was "the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it was a "total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States".

Donald Trump Jr said the findings proved "what those of us with sane minds knew all along".

Mueller had spent almost two years examining potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

He also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice, but could not come to a definitive answer, Attorney General William Barr said in a letter to Congress summing up the report.

But the special counsel did "not exonerate" Trump of obstructing justice, Barr added.

After consulting with other Justice Department officials, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found the evidence was "not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offence."

The release of the summary is likely to ignite a new political fight in Washington as Democrats push for Barr to release the full report.

They warned it would constitute a "cover up" if it was not released in full.

Congressman Jerry Nadler, the Democratic Chair of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, emphasised the attorney general did not rule out Trump may have obstructed justice.

'WITCH HUNT'

Trump is likely to seize on the findings as vindication of his near daily assertion he was a victim of a "witch hunt" that has cast a long shadow over his presidency.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said "the cloud hanging over President Trump" had "been removed" by Mueller's report.

Graham, a close ally of Trump, said it was "a bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down."

Top House Judiciary Republican Doug Collins said "there is no constitutional crisis."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy added that "it is time we move on for the good of the nation."

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said the report was "better than I expected".

The president has always denied collaborating with Moscow or obstructing justice.

Russia insisted it did not interfere in the election, although US intelligence agencies concluded that it did.

Most legal experts didn't expect Mueller to bring charges against Trump since departmental guidelines advise against indicting a sitting president.

The Department of Justice announced on Friday that Mueller had ended his investigation after bringing charges against 34 people, including Russian agents and former key allies of Trump, such as his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Mike Flynn and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

None of those charges, however, directly related to whether Trump's campaign worked with Moscow.

Trump had been unusually absent on Twitter since Friday when the report was handed to the attorney general.

The president spent time playing golf yesterday with musician Kid Rock in Florida.




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