Trump says Mueller report 'could not have been better'

President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE on Tuesday said he believes the Justice Department’s summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s findings “could not have been better,” the clearest statement yet that the president views the end of the Russia probe as an unqualified political victory.

“The Mueller report was great. It could not have been better,” Trump told reporters at the Capitol before meeting behind closed doors with Senate Republicans.

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too MORE said in a letter to Congress on Sunday that Mueller did not find that Trump colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

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Barr also said Mueller did not reach a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice during the 22-month probe.

The letter lifted a cloud that has been hanging over Trump since the earliest days of his presidency, prompting the president and those around him to take an extended victory lap.

Trump on Tuesday expressed confidence that House Democrats would no longer pursue impeachment proceedings against him, even though some members are still floating the possibility.

“I don’t think they’re talking about impeachment,” he said. “We have the greatest economy we’ve ever had. Our country is in incredible shape.”

Trump signaled he wants a new probe of those who investigated his ties to Russia, the latest indication he wants to seize on Mueller’s findings.

“It went very high up and it started low. But with instructions from the high up,” he said. “This should never happen to a president again. We can’t allow that to take place.”

Possible counterinvestigations into the origins of Mueller’s investigation are just one part of an effort by Trump allies to attack Democrats and members of the news media who speculated that the special counsel would deliver a major blow to the president.

Trump insinuated without evidence that members of former President Obama’s West Wing staff were responsible for starting the probe.

“I don’t want to say that, but I think you know the answer,” Trump told reporters.

The FBI reportedly launched the investigation in 2016 after discovering that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulous told an Australian diplomat that Russia had dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement MORE.

Democrats have said Trump has declared victory prematurely, cautioning that the full scope of Mueller’s findings are not yet known. Democratic lawmakers have pressed for Mueller's full report to be released to Congress and the public, after the special counsel submitted his confidential findings to the Justice Department late last week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: 'It never occurred to me' convincing Americans to get vaccinated would be difficult The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday blocked a measure calling for the report to be publicly released, noting that Barr is working with Mueller to determine what can be released to the public.

—Updated at 2:02 p.m.