Trump says Mueller report 'could not have been better'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE on Tuesday said he believes the Justice Department’s summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 BarrWilliam Pelham BarrEx-FBI official: 'Links and coordination' with Russia happen everyday Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction New normal: A president can freely interfere with investigations without going to jail 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.


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 ClintonGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Ex-FBI official: 'Links and coordination' with Russia happen everyday Ex-FBI agent: Americans should be 'disgusted' by Russian interference in Mueller report 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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Overnight Health Care: McConnell offering bill to raise tobacco-buying age to 21 | NC gov vetoes 'born alive' abortion bill | CMS backs off controversial abortion proposal HR 1 brings successful local, state reforms to the federal level and deserves passage 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.