HBO pokes at Trump over 'Game of Thrones'-themed post

HBO on Thursday pushed back on the use of imagery from its shows for political purposes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE used a "Game of Thrones"-inspired meme to celebrate the findings of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe.

The cable and satellite network issued a brief statement on Thursday afternoon that did not directly mention Trump's post but broadly requested that political groups not infringe on the channel's intellectual property.

“Though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes," HBO said in the statement.

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The network pushed back hours after Trump posted an image to Twitter that showed himself surrounded by smoke overlaid with text that read “No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats— Game Over,” in a font style similar to that used in promotional images for HBO's "Game of Thrones."

The president has used “Game of Thrones”-inspired imagery in past social media postings, including one sent in November that warned “Sanctions are coming” against Iran.

Mueller's highly anticipated report was released Thursday morning, shortly after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget Barr says he's working to protect presidency, not Trump Press: Justin Amash breaks ranks with party MORE held a press conference explaining Mueller's findings and Barr's decision not to pursue obstruction of justice charges against the president.

Democrats including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act MORE (N.Y.) have accused Barr of playing defense for Trump by misrepresenting the report's findings.

“Attorney General Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning — hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it — have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality," Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a statement.

The two have called on Mueller to testify publicly before Congress on the report's findings, which were partially redacted in Thursday's public release.

"We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible," Pelosi and Schumer said.