GOP senators give Trump standing ovation

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE received a standing ovation Tuesday when he walked into a lunch meeting of the Senate Republican Conference to take a victory lap after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate 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 MORE did not find evidence of collusion in the 2016 election.

Trump seemed almost giddy as he spoke to Republican senators in the Mansfield Room just off the Senate floor, according to GOP lawmakers who said Trump claimed the Mueller report gave him a "clean bill of health" after two years of speculation that it could lead to impeachment.


The president thanked Senate Republicans for sticking by his side for almost "two years" of the special counsel's investigation and Democrats "dragging our party and the presidency through the mud on a hoax," according to Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerOvernight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation Senators to meet with Ukraine president to reaffirm US support How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm MORE (R-N.D.).

"He appreciated that we stood with him, and he said it can never happen again," Cramer added. "The words he used is 'clean bill of health,' referencing Mueller."

Trump appeared to have an extra bounce in his step and called out almost all the senators in the room by name, according to lawmakers who attended the meeting.

"He was in good spirits," said Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement Florida looms large in Republican 2024 primary How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm MORE (R-Fla.).

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Trump slams Biden, voices unsubstantiated election fraud claims at first rally of 2022 Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks MORE (R-Ky.) said Trump received a "prolonged standing ovation" when he walked in the room. 

And Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntJohnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence Senate Minority Whip Thune, close McConnell ally, to run for reelection The end of orphanages starts with family strengthening programs MORE (R-Mo.), who hosted the meeting as the Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman, said Mueller’s report effectively exonerated Trump.

"I believe that’s the case," he said.

The Mueller investigation found no evidence that Trump or his top advisers coordinated with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel did not come to any conclusion as to whether the president obstructed justice.

It was a good day for Trump and Senate Republicans, who have had a rocky relationship over the past month. 

There was no talk of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities Sinema, Manchin curb Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ariz.), who became a flashpoint last week after Trump repeatedly criticized him for passing along to the FBI a dossier of damaging allegations against the president.

Trump and Senate Republicans did not discuss the Democratic-sponsored resolution disapproving of his national emergency declaration for a wall along the southern border. Twelve Republicans voted to disapprove of Trump’s action earlier this month.

Cramer said Trump "definitely had a little extra step, a little bounce in his step."

The president did not urge Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (R-S.C.) to investigate possible corruption at the FBI, something he has alleged publicly on several occasions, nor did he say Congress should take a closer look into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE's 2016 presidential campaign, another subject he has harped on in recent months.

"It was more of a thank-you speech," Cramer said.