President Trump reacted Sunday afternoon after Attorney General William Barr sent his findings of the Robert Mueller report to Congress.
Trump briefly spoke to reporters around 4:45 p.m. outside Air Force One at Florida’s Palm Beach International Airport.
“So after a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side — where a lot of bad things happened, a lot of horrible things happened, a lot of bad things happened for our country — it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia — the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” Trump said. “There was no collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction, none whatsoever, and it was a complete and total exoneration. It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this — before I even got elected, it began, and it began illegally. And hopefully somebody is going to look at the other side. This was an illegal takedown that failed, and hopefully somebody will be looking at the other side. So it’s complete exoneration, no collusion, no obstruction. Thank you.”
Trump has often tweeted about “NO COLLUSION” during the Mueller probe, and he did so again Sunday, shortly before he spoke to journalists.
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, told reporters that Trump was briefed by staff and attorneys on the findings before he left Mar-a-Lago, according to a pool report. Gidley said they did not have access to the full confidential report at that time. Instead, they reviewed Barr’s letter to Congress. He said it’s unclear if the president will view the whole report, according to the pool report.
“He’s feeling very good. ... He’s in a really good mood. ... He’s just very happy with how it all turned out,” Gidley said, according to the pool report.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also issued a statement:
The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 24, 2019
Meanwhile, Trump’s reelection campaign manager, Brad Parscale, released the following statement in an e-mail:
“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.
After issuing 2,800 subpoenas and 500 search warrants, interviewing 500 witnesses, employing 40 FBI agents and 19 lawyers, and spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, Robert Mueller concluded unequivocally, ‘[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.’ Moreover, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General determined that there was no evidence of obstruction of justice.
Nevertheless, Democrats took us on a frantic, chaotic, conspiracy-laden roller coaster for two years, alleging wrongdoing where there was none. So distraught and blindsided by the results of the 2016 elections, Democrats lied to the American people continually, hoping to undo the legitimate election of President Trump. Their dirty tricks have not ended. Even today Democrats have picked up the disgraceful mantle of investigating, obstructing, and destroying the will of the American people at any cost. They failed once and they will fail again.
Despite a roving Special Counsel and desperate Democrats trailing him every step of the way, President Trump has kept his focus where it belongs: achieving for the American people. He is making historic economic progress that benefits all Americans, all to Make America Great Again.
The American people should take notice: the Democrats have lied to you, while President Trump has been hard at work building a booming economy and making you safer.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence issued the following statement:
“Today is a great day for America, President Trump and our entire administration. After two years of investigation, and reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media, the Special Counsel has confirmed what President Trump said along; there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. The Attorney General also confirmed that there was no obstruction of justice. This total vindication of the President of the United States and our campaign should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections. In the days ahead, the American people can be confident that the President and our entire administration will continue to focus where we always have, on the issues most important to our country. We can only hope that Democrats, who have spent so much time on these discredited allegations, will join us to advance an agenda that will make our nation even more prosperous and more secure for every American.”
Sean Smyth of the Globe staff contributed to this report.