Mulvaney: Mueller report 'not designed' to exonerate Trump

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE said Sunday that 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 investigation was "not designed" to exonerate President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel 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 BarrBill BarrWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Trump: Washington/Lincoln ticket would have had hard time beating me before pandemic Trump says Barr 'never' told him he thought he'd lose election 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.