Trump says Mueller report 'could not have been better'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE on Tuesday said he believes the Justice Department’s summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 BarrTrump's Justice Department should change its tune on antitrust policy Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community 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 ClintonHouse Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally It's about the delegates, stupid 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 McConnellElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale 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.