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Trump Declares Victory After Release Of Mueller Report

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Repeating language he has used throughout the investigation, President Donald Trump declared victory Thursday following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"No collusion, no obstruction," Trump said in remarks from the White House. "There never was by the way, and there never will be."

He added, "This should never happen to another president again, this hoax, it should never happen to another president again."

The comments from Trump come after Attorney General William Barr publicly released a redacted version of the nearly 500-page report.

Barr also used the president's "no collusion" language when summarizing the report's findings in a press conference earlier in the day.

"After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the Special Counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes," Barr said.

The Mueller report itself notes the investigation identified "numerous links" between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign, but the evidence was "not sufficient to support criminal charges."

The investigation also established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome and that the campaign expected it would benefit from Russian interference.

Barr also reiterated his previous assessment that evidence uncovered by the special counsel was not sufficient to establish that Trump committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.

The Attorney General argued evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that Trump had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Mueller report states Trump's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful only because the "persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

Trump purportedly called the appointment of the special counsel "the end of my Presidency" and unsuccessfully sought to have Mueller removed.

"The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred," the report says. "Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

In response to the release of the report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Mueller to publicly testify in the House and Senate as soon as possible.

Pelosi and Schumer argued Barr's efforts to "spin the report" have resulted in a "crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality."

"We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel's investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible," Pelosi and Schumer said. "The American people deserve to hear the truth."

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