While at a diplomatic appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump defended special counsel Robert Mueller’s conduct during his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump was asked directly whether he believes Mueller acted with honor during his nearly two-year investigation.
Reporter: Do you think Special Counsel Mueller acted honorably?
President Trump: “Yes, he did. Yes, he did.” pic.twitter.com/UGDuBxuwXz
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 25, 2019
Mueller delivered his final report to Barr after 675 extraordinary days of appointment, during which he sought to review any potential contact between Russia and the Trump 2016 campaign. The investigation became a sprawling review and led to the indictment of several in Trump’s orbit.
It dominated headlines in the first two years of Trump’s presidency and became a major foil for the president, who decried it as a “witch hunt.” Trump often criticized Mueller throughout the investigation, disparaging him personally and calling his team of lawyers “17 Angry Democrats.” (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions To Congress, Determines No Collusion)
Barr informed Congress on Sunday about Mueller’s finding, saying “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” and the report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” but “it also does not exonerate him.”
Democratic lawmakers have called nearly unanimously for the full report to be released, noting that they do not trust Barr’s mere quoting from sentences of the report. Democrats have fixated on Mueller’s declaration that he does not exonerate Trump from obstruction of justice and compiled evidence to the contrary.