President Donald Trump responded not long after a summary of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was published on Sunday afternoon.
Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to leaders in the U.S. Congress and Senate on Sunday, summarizing the Special Counsel's findings. he noted that Mueller did not "exonerate" the president of obstruction of justice, but said that the Department of Justice would not prosecute him, either. The president took this as good news.
"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 very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia," the president told reporters.
"The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," he went on. "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," the president continued. "To be honest, it's a shame that your president had to go through this for — before I even got elected it began. It began illegally. And hopefully somebody's going to look at the other side. This was an illegal take-down that failed."
The president responded on Twitter as well, writing: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Many of the president's staffers and allies, including White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, are calling the summary and "exoneration," and Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted that it removed "the cloud hanging over President Trump." However, others had a different interpretation.
In his letter, Barr himself noted that the president had not been exonerated by the Special Counsel. In terms of obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel "did not draw a conclusion — one way or another" as to whether or not the president was guilty.0comments
While Barr determined that the DoJ would not pursue any action against the president, Congress has not ruled it out. New York Representative Jerry Nadler tweeted that Barr was effectively "putting matters squarely in Congress' court."
"In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future," he wrote.