At a previously scheduled event for the Wounded Warrior Project at the White House on Thursday, President Trump made his first public remarks on the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. After thanking two congressmen — Reps. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Jim Baird, R-Ind. — Trump said they were “having a good day.”
“And I’m having a good day, too,” said Trump. “It’s called no collusion, no obstruction.”
“There never was, by the way, and there never will be,” he said. “And we do have to get to the bottom of these things.”
“This should never happen to another president again,” continued Trump about Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. “This hoax should never happen to another president again.”
Before the report was released, Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, defended the president as he spoke about the release of the redacted version at the Department of Justice on Thursday.
Barr, whose initial summary of the report found no conspiracy and who said he had decided not to pursue charges of obstruction of justice against Trump and his associates, said the president had been “frustrated and angered” by the investigation.
“President Trump faced an unprecedented situation,” Barr said. “As he entered office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability.
“Yet, as he said from the beginning,” he continued, “there was, in fact, no collusion. And as the special counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel investigation.”
Trump, however, did not sit for an interview requested by Mueller.
Democrats denounced Barr’s press conference, and the House Judiciary Committee announced its request to have Mueller testify about the report.
“Attorney General Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning — hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it — have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a joint statement.
It continued: “We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible. The American people deserve to hear the truth.”
Meanwhile, Trump continued to celebrate the report with a “Game of Thrones” meme that read: “NO COLLUSION. NO OBSTRUCTION. FOR THE HATERS AND THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS — GAME OVER.”
More coverage of the Mueller report from Yahoo News: