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 TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE used a "Game of Thrones"-inspired meme to celebrate the findings of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats 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 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 - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet House poised to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Harris campaign accepts money from partners of law firm she criticized over Epstein case 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 PelosiHouse Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Trump: I don't have a racist bone in my body Ocasio-Cortez responds to fresh criticism from Trump MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence 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.