The Latest: Trump: It’s ‘a shame’ nation had to endure probe

National News
Donald Trump following Russia investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the special counsel’s Russia investigation:

7 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions are a “total vindication” of President Donald Trump and “our campaign” and “should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections.”

Pence calls it a “great day for America,” Trump and the administration.

Attorney General William Barr declared Sunday that Mueller’s long investigation found no evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also looked into whether Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry, but did not provide a definitive answer on that point.

Pence called on Democrats, who he says spent “so much time on these discredited allegations,” to join the White House and Republicans to help make the nation more prosperous and secure.

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6:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump was in his room at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, when he first learned details of a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

That’s according to White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, who briefed reporters aboard Air Force One just before it landed in Washington.

Gidley said the president told him, “This is very good.”

He said that on the flight back from Florida, Trump was in his Air Force One office, talking with White House staff members and watching the news unfold on television and Twitter.

Gidley said the president has only seen Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report, not the entire report.

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6:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says “America is the greatest place on earth.”

That was Trump’s only comment as he returned to the White House on Sunday, hours after the Justice Department declared that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found no evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller also investigated whether Trump sought to obstruct the investigation, but did not provide a definitive answer.

Back at the White House, Trump said only: “I just want to tell you that, America is the greatest place on earth, the greatest place on earth.”

Trump tweeted his reaction before leaving Florida. He told reporters there was no collusion with Russia and no obstruction and that “it was a complete and total exoneration.”

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5 p.m.

Top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say Attorney General William Barr is “not a neutral observer” and they urge full release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Pelosi, the House speaker, and Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said Sunday that Barr’s letter to Congress about Mueller’s report “raises as many questions as it answers.”

In a joint statement, the leaders says that Barr’s past “bias” against the special counsel inquiry shows he is “not in a position to make objective determinations.”

They say that “the fact that Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay.”

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4:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Donald Trump was right about the Russia investigation.

McConnell says Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation confirms Trump’s account that there was “no effort” by his campaign “to conspire or coordinate with Russia” to influence the 2016 election.

The Republican leader said he appreciates Barr’s goal of “producing as much information as possible” from Mueller’s investigation. But McConnell declined to call for the report’s full release, as many Democrats want.

McConnell also warned Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in U.S. institutions “are dangerous and disturbing.”

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4:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is claiming vindication as it celebrates the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale says in a statement, “Today marks the day that President Trump has been completely and fully vindicated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, exposing the Russia collusion conspiracy theory for the sham that it always was and catching Democrats in an elaborate web of lies and deceit. “

While the Justice Department says that Muller found no evidence that Trump’s 2016 campaign coordinated with Russian to influence the election, the attorney general quoted Mueller’s report as stating it “does not exonerate” the president on obstruction.

Parscale is also accusing Democrats of taking the country “on a frantic, chaotic, conspiracy-laden roller coaster for two years” because they were “distraught and blindsided” by Trump’s win.

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4:15 p.m.

Several Democratic presidential candidates say special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Russian election interference and President Donald Trump must be made public.

California Sen. Kamala Harris says Attorney General William Barr, who submitted his summary of the report Sunday, “must testify” before Congress. She tweeted, “That is what transparency looks like.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts notes that lawmakers have voted to release the full Mueller report, not a summary from what she calls Trump’s “handpicked Attorney General.”

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker says the public “deserves the full report and findings” immediately, “not just the in-house summary from a Trump Administration official.”

And New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the Mueller report “must be made public.” She tweeted, “The President works for the people, and he is not above the law.”

3:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is touting the Justice Department’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller findings, saying “it was a shame” the nation had to go through the investigation.

Trump claims the report found “there was no collusion with Russia, there was no obstruction.” In fact, Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump committed obstruction of justice in the Russia probe. Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein determined that evidence gathered by Mueller was insufficient.

The summary does say Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign or its associates “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election.

Trump is also lashing out at the investigation, claiming without evidence that it was “an illegal takedown that failed.”

Trump spoke to reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from a weekend at his private club in Florida.

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is claiming “Complete and Total EXONERATION” in a celebratory tweet following the release of a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Trump writes, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” as he heads to the airport in Florida, where he’s spent the weekend.

The Justice Department said Sunday that Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice, but did not come to a definitive answer.

But Attorney General William Barr says in a four-page letter to Congress that Mueller’s report “does not exonerate” the president on obstruction and instead “sets out evidence on both sides of the question.”

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3:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son says a summary of the special counsel’s findings “proves what those of us with sane minds knew all along.”

Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement Sunday saying that a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings proves that there “was zero collusion with Russia.”

The summary by Attorney General William Barr says Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign or its associates “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election. It also says that Mueller did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice or find that he committed a crime.

Trump Jr. has come under scrutiny during the investigation, for helping arrange a Trump Tower meeting at the height of the 2016 campaign with a Kremlin-linked lawyer.

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3:40 p.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he will call Attorney General William Barr in to testify “in the near future.”

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler tweeted that he will ask Barr to testify “in light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making” at the Justice Department.

As described in a report from Barr to Congress, Mueller’s investigation left open the question of whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Barr said he determined the evidence is not sufficient to establish that Trump committed an offense.

Nadler tweeted that after Mueller worked for 22 months, “Attorney General Barr took 2 days to tell the American people that while the President is not exonerated, there will be no action by DOJ.”

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3:35 p.m.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin has not yet seen the summary of the U.S. special counsel’s report on the investigation into whether the Trump administration colluded with Russia.

Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Sunday night after the Justice Department released the summary. “We are not familiar with the report.”

Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress said Mueller did not find evidence that Trump or his campaign knowingly coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

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3:28 p.m.

The White House claims the Justice Department letter summarizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is a “complete exoneration” of President Donald Trump.

In a statement, press secretary Sarah Sanders says Mueller “did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction.”

In fact, Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump committed obstruction of justice in the Russia probe. Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein determined evidence gathered by Mueller was insufficient.

Barr’s letter to Congress did say Mueller did not find evidence that Trump or his campaign knowingly coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

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3:26 p.m.

White House officials are celebrating the release of the Justice Department’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that he “did not establish” that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.

Director of Oval Office operations Madeleine Westerhout adds on Twitter: “How many tens of millions of dollars did the American taxpayers have to pay to find out what everyone already knew.”

Eric Trump, the president’s son, is calling for a “simple apology” from the media for “the hell everyone has been put through” during the two-year probe.

In fact, Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump committed obstruction of justice in the Russia probe.

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3:20 p.m.

Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller was released to Congress and the public without any input from Mueller.

A senior Justice Department official says Mueller was not consulted about the letter. The official was not authorized to be identified and spoke on condition of anonymity.

—Associated Press writer Eric Tucker.

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3:18 p.m.

The Justice Department gave the White House a heads-up about the letter summarizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation.

A senior Justice official says the attorney general’s chief of staff called White House lawyer Emmet Flood at 3 p.m. Sunday and gave him a “readout” of the letter, which came out about a half-hour later. The official further says the letter was put together by Barr and the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.

The official was not authorized to be identified and spoke on condition of anonymity.

— Associated Press Writer Eric Tucker.

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3:15 p.m.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says “the cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed” by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Graham, a close ally of Trump, also says it is “a bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down.”

A summary of Mueller’s findings released Sunday says Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign or its associates “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election. It also says that Mueller did not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice or find that he committed a crime.

Top House Judiciary Republican Doug Collins said “there is no constitutional crisis.” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said “it is time we move on for the good of the nation.”

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3:10 p.m.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman says special counsel Robert Mueller “clearly and explicitly is not exonerating the president.”

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted that Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress says that while President Donald Trump may have acted to obstruct justice, the government would need to prove that “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

But Nadler tweeted Congress must hear from Barr about his decision making and see “all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts.”

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