Mulvaney: Mueller report 'not designed' to exonerate Trump

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyHillicon Valley: Trump official declines to testify on trade protections for tech | Senators call for better info-sharing on supply chain threats | Apple pulls app after Chinese pressure Overnight Energy: Dems subpoena Perry in impeachment inquiry | EPA to overhaul rules on lead contamination tests | Commerce staff wrote statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump Commerce staff drafted statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump's hurricane predictions MORE said Sunday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE's investigation was "not designed" to exonerate President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE.

"That is not what these documents do," Mulvaney said when asked why Trump has claimed exoneration from obstruction charges despite the fact that the report explicitly says it does not exonerate him. 

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"When you do an investigation like this, there's typically two outcomes: Either criminal indictments come down, or it just quietly goes away," he continued. "These types of investigations are not designed to exonerate people."

Last weekend, Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBarr bemoans 'moral upheaval' that has brought 'suffering and misery' Trump threatens to sue Schiff and Pelosi Democratic lawmaker says Barr's reported meeting with Murdoch should be investigated MORE sent a letter to Congress detailing the top-level findings from Mueller's 22-month investigation.

According to Barr, the investigation was unable to find any evidence proving collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

Trump and his supporters have taken a victory lap following the letter, with the president claiming "complete and total exoneration."

On the question of obstruction of justice, however, the special counsel did not make a determination, according to Barr.

"While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him," Mueller wrote in his report, according to Barr.

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided not to pursue an obstruction charge after reviewing the special counsel's findings.

Mulvaney said that decision has cleared Trump.

"So that’s why we are absolutely comfortable saying the president has been fully exonerated," he said Sunday.