Acting AG: Mueller probe is 'close to being completed'

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker said Monday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE’s probe is “close to being completed.”

Whitaker told reporters at a press conference that he has been “fully briefed on the investigation.”

“I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible,” he said.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE and Republican allies for months have called for a conclusion to the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election; the president has repeatedly attacked the effort as a "witch hunt."

The comments by Whitaker come days after longtime Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason Stone3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone's request to dismiss charges Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference MORE was indicted as part of Mueller's probe. The indictment alleges that Stone made false statements, engaged in witness tampering and interfered with a congressional investigation.

The indictment, unsealed on Friday, claims that Trump campaign staff were directed to ask Stone what documents WikiLeaks had in its possession that could be damaging to the Clinton campaign. WikiLeaks distributed stolen Democratic emails in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, which Mueller has alleged were hacked by Russian military officers.

The White House has said the charges have "nothing to do" with the president. Stone has denied the allegations and is promising to fight the indictment in court.

Mueller has indicted several Trump campaign officials in the course of his probe since he was appointed in May 2017, including former Trump campaign head Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Whitaker also made his comments amid speculation over whether the public will be able to review the full contents of Mueller's report when the probe is concluded.

William Barr, Trump's nominee for attorney general, declined to commit to releasing the full report during his confirmation hearing earlier this month. He said he would have to follow Department of Justice guidelines in determining how the report is released.

Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority' Environmental advocates should take another look at biofuels MORE (R-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also dropped legislation Monday requiring that reports issued by any special counsel be publicly released.

--Updated 5:43 p.m.