Donald Trump blasts ex-advisers who claimed he tried to stop Mueller report
The US president said statements contained in the document were ‘fabricated’ and ‘totally untrue’.
US president Donald Trump has struck a defiant tone after celebrating the release of the Mueller report as “a good day”.
He unleashed a volley of tweets on Friday, saying claims in the report by former administration officials that he tried numerous times to stop or influence the probe were “total bullshit”.
According to the 448-page report released on Thursday, Mr Trump discouraged witnesses from cooperating with prosecutors and prodded aides to mislead the public on his behalf to hamper the Russia probe he feared would cripple his administration.
The report’s bottom line largely tracked the findings revealed in Attorney General William Barr’s four-page memo a month ago – no Trump campaign collusion with Russia around the 2016 election but no clear verdict on obstruction.
But it added new layers of detail about Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation.
Tweeting on a rainy Friday from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, Mr Trump lashed out at people who cooperated with Robert Mueller’s team.
He said statements in the report made by some were “fabricated & totally untrue”.
The president alleged “notes” some people said they took after meetings did not exist but were created for the Mueller investigation.
“I never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the ‘Report’ about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad),” Mr Trump tweeted.
“This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened.”
On Thursday, Mr Trump had termed the Mueller report release “a good day” for him, adding “it was called no collusion, no obstruction”.
Both sides are using the findings to amplify well-rehearsed arguments about Mr Trump’s conduct.
Republicans are casting him as a victim of harassment, while Democrats are depicting the president as stepping far over the line to derail the investigation.
House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting that Mr Mueller himself testify before his panel “no later than May 23”.
The New York Democrat also issued a subpoena for Mr Mueller’s complete report as well as underlying documents, including grand jury evidence, which was redacted.
Grand jury evidence, including witness interviews, is normally off limits but can be obtained in court.
“We need the entire report, unredacted, and the underlying documents in order to make informed decisions,” Mr Nadler told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.
The Justice Department released its redacted version of the report about 90 minutes after Mr Barr offered his own final assessment of the findings at a testy news conference.
The nation, Congress and Trump’s White House consumed it voraciously online, via compact disc delivered to legislators and in loose-leaf binders distributed to reporters.
Mr Trump tweeted Game Over in a typeface mimicking the “Game of Thrones” logo.
By late afternoon, he was airborne for Mar-a-Lago with first lady Melania Trump for the holiday weekend.
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