The Latest: Trump claims vindication, goes on attack

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the special counsel’s findings (all times local):

7:55 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.”

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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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7:30 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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4:50 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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4:28 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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4:26 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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2:09 p.m.

President Donald Trump is laying low at his Florida estate as he awaits the findings of the special counsel investigation.

He’s heeding the advice of his lawyers, who warned him against tweeting about the probe before details were released.

Trump is said to be relieved and happy that Robert Mueller’s probe ended without any new indictments. That’s according to people close to the White House, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Still, it was unclear whether Mueller’s report was critical of Trump’s actions, and the president’s lawyers told him tweeting about the investigation before that was clear might make his life more difficult.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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