Administration

Trump: Mueller acted honorably

President Trump said Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller acted honorably, offering rare praise for the man who led the Russia investigation after he ended it without accusing Trump of colluding with Russia.

Asked by reporters at the White House if Mueller acted honorably, Trump responded, “Yes, he did.”
 
Trump has spent much of the last two years deriding the special counsel’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” calling Mueller “conflicted” and claiming the the special counsel’s team was stacked with biased Democrats.

{mosads}Asked Monday if the investigation was a witch hunt, Trump said it was “100 percent the way it should’ve been.”

“It was a false narrative, it was a terrible thing. We can never let this happen to another president again,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Attorney General William Barr said Sunday in a four-page summary of Mueller’s main findings that the special counsel’s investigation found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. On the matter of alleged obstruction of justice, Mueller said he had neither exonerated Trump nor concluded that he had committed a crime.

Mueller’s investigation implicated more than two dozen Russian nationals and entities, as well as six former Trump associates. Four have pleaded guilty as part of the probe, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been convicted and sentenced and informal adviser Roger Stone is awaiting trial.

Asked Monday if he was considering pardoning anyone, Trump told reporters he hadn’t thought about it.

He added that he’d leave it up to Barr whether to make Mueller’s full report public as Democrats and some Republicans have demanded.

“Wouldn’t bother me at all,” he said.

Trump and his allies have spent the day on a victory lap in the wake of Barr’s summary of Mueller’s main findings. They have praised the report as a vindication of the president, while excoriating Democrats and media members who they claimed gave life to a conspiracy about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

The president refrained in the Oval Office from going after Mueller, but suggested that officials who perpetuated the investigation should face consequences.

“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things. Very bad things. I would say treasonous things against our country,” Trump said.

The president did not specify who he was referring to other than to allege that they “lied to Congress.”

“And hopefully the people that have done such harm to our country … those people will certainly be looked at,” he continued. “I’ve been looking at them for a long time and I’m saying why haven’t they been looked at?” 

—Updated at 1:07 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Mueller investigation Mueller report Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Roger Stone Special Counsel investigation William Barr

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