Trump compliments Mueller for the first time, agrees special counsel acted ‘honorably’ after no Russian conspiracy finding
By Chris Sommerfeldt
Mar 25, 2019 | 1:40 PM
What a difference a four-page letter makes.
President Trump offered kind words for his archenemy Monday, agreeing Robert Mueller conducted a proper investigation after his attorney general released a letter stating the special counsel found no evidence of a 2016 election conspiracy between Russians and the Trump campaign.
Speaking following a White House event, Trump replied in the affirmative when asked if he believes Mueller "acted honorably."
"Yes, he did," Trump said, marking the first time he has ever complimented the man he has spent the past two years accusing of being a partisan stooge on a political "witch hunt."
The President also claimed he has no qualms about releasing Mueller's complete findings to the public.
"Up to the attorney general," Trump said. "Wouldn't bother me at all."
Trump's Mueller praise poses a complete retreat from his months of Mueller bashing.
He has invariably called Mueller "conflicted," suggested the special counsel had conflicts of interest and incorrectly claimed his investigation was conducted by a team of "17 angry Democrats."
At times, Trump's Mueller attacks took on a more bizarre tone.
"He's Comey's best friend," Trump told right-wing outlet Daily Caller last year, referring to the former FBI director he fired. "And I could give you 100 pictures of him and Comey hugging and kissing each other. You know, he's Comey's best friend."
In response to a records request, the FBI said at the time it was unable to locate any such pictures.
Trump's upbeat Monday remarks came a day after Attorney General William Barr dropped a four-page letter summarizing what he categorized as the "principal conclusions" of Mueller's 22-month investigation into Russia's attack on the 2016 election.
Quoting the report, Barr said Mueller did not find that "members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
However, Barr said Mueller was torn over whether Trump had at any point obstructed of justice — the second part of the special counsel's inquiry.
"The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not concluded that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'" Barr wrote.
The ambiguity prompted immediate Democratic demands for the release of Mueller's full report and any underlying evidence relating to the obstruction probe.
The Trump-picked attorney general, without divulging more details of Mueller’s obstruction inquiry, stated in his letter that the evidence was “not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”