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McConnell says 'case closed' on Mueller

McConnell says 'case closed' on Mueller
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks GOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday declared the "case closed" on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting MORE's investigation, blasting Democrats for having an "absolute meltdown" over his report.

"What we've seen is a meltdown, an absolute meltdown, an inability to accept the bottom-line conclusion on Russian interference from the special counsel's report," McConnell said from the Senate floor. "My Democratic colleagues seem to be publicly working through the five stages of grief."  

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The remarks from McConnell come amid a no holds barred fight between the two parties in Washington over the handling of Mueller's report. Mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE's campaign or organization, but did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice.

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrKellyanne Conway acknowledges Biden as apparent winner Trump Pentagon nominee alleged Biden 'coup': report Ex-FBI lawyer who falsified document in Trump-Russia probe seeks to avoid prison MORE did reach that conclusion upon reviewing Mueller's report with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE. Democrats have criticized that finding and are demanding to hear from Mueller. Democrats on the House Judiciary have also scheduled a vote this week to hold Barr in contempt. 

McConnell on Tuesday argued that Democrats are angry at Barr for doing his job. 

"Baseless accusations of perjury, laughable threats of impeachment. Look, we all know what's going on here. The whole angry barrage the Democrats had prepared to unleash on President Trump except the facts let them down," McConnell said. "They are slandering a distinguished public servant because the real world has disappointed them."

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms MORE (D-N.Y.) quickly hit back at McConnell, saying he was trying to "whitewash" Mueller's findings and compared his calls to "move on" to "Richard Nixon saying 'let's move on' at the height of the investigation of his wrongdoing."

McConnell said that some on the left had turned Mueller into a "kind of secular saint," and that they appeared to be "grieving" over the findings and should "come back to reality." 

"For two years many of the president's opponents seemed to be hoping the worst conspiracy theories were actually true. They seemed to be hoping for a national crisis for the sake of their own politics," McConnell added. 

"Russia set out to sow discord, to create chaos in American politics and undermine confidence in our democracy. But on that given the ... fixation on delegitimizing the president, the president Americans chose, and shooting any messenger who tells them inconvenient truths ... I'm afraid the Russians hardly need to lift a finger," McConnell continued. 

The floor speech marks the most extensive remarks McConnell, who is up for reelection in 2020 and is aligning himself closely with Trump, has made on the Mueller report.

Updated at 1:22 p.m.