Trump: 'I had nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE said early Thursday that he "had nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected" while slamming special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE’s Russia investigation in a series of tweets.

“After spending $40,000,000 over two dark years, with unlimited access, people, resources and cooperation, highly conflicted Robert Mueller would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!” he said in his first tweet of the morning.


"Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn’t exist," he said in a subsequent tweet.

"So now the Dems and their partner, the Fake News Media, say he fought back against this phony crime that didn’t exist, this horrendous false accusation, and he shouldn’t fight back, he should just sit back and take it," he added.

"Could this be Obstruction? No, Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either."

Trump’s tweet appeared to be his first acknowledgement of the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in order to help his campaign.

Moments later, the president contradicted his tweet, telling reporters outside the White House that "Russia did not get me elected."

Mueller wrote in his final report earlier this year that he found insufficient evidence to find Trump's campaign conspired with Russia in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, but declined to make a prosecutorial judgment over whether the president obstructed subsequent probes.

Mueller said on Wednesday that his office did not charge Trump with a crime because it “was not an option” under Department of Justice regulations.

Mueller, in his first public comments on his two-year investigation, said that it would have been impossible to bring Trump to court, adding that his final report clearly spelled out that investigators did not conclude that the president was innocent of a crime.

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

While Mueller said that he did not wish to testify publicly before Congress about his conclusions, he appeared to shift the onus for further action onto the House, saying “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”

His remarks stirred up an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party over whether it should begin impeachment proceedings in the House, a move the White House has said would be unjust and politically motivated.

A slew of Democrats running for president next year ramped up their calls for impeachment in the hours after Mueller spoke, though Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKlobuchar shuts down idea a woman can't beat Trump: 'Pelosi does it every day' Budowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) issued a statement devoid of any mention of the prospect, simply saying Congress would continue its oversight duties.

“The Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power. The Congress will continue to investigate and legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy. The American people must have the truth,” she said.

Updated at 8:51 a.m.