President Trump: 'complete and total exoneration'

Reacts to summary of investigation to alleged Russia collusion.

Posted: Mar 24, 2019 5:48 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Breaking his silence on the special counsel investigation, President Donald Trump celebrated a summary of the findings Sunday, claiming it "was a complete and total exoneration," even though the report did not reach a definitive answer on whether he obstructed justice.

Trump spoke to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Palm Beach, saying "it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia. ... There was no obstruction, and none whatsoever."

The president's comments came after the Justice Department said that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation did not find evidence that Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The four-page summary by Attorney General William Barr said Mueller's report "does not exonerate" the president on obstruction and instead "sets out evidence on both sides of the question."

Trump's victory lap came after he kept a low profile over the weekend, heeding the advice of his lawyers, who warned him against tweeting about the probe before details were released. But on Sunday night he signaled that he was eager to go on the offensive against the probe that has shadowed his presidency.

"It's a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest it's a shame that your president has had to go through this," Trump said. "This was an illegal takedown that failed."

White House advisers and allies were equally elated, with campaign manager Brad Parscale declaring in a statement that Trump "has been completely and fully vindicated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller."

For their part, Democrats called for Mueller's full report to be released and vowed to press on with their own investigation, setting up future clashes with the White House.

Before the summary was released, Trump, who spent the weekend golfing and relaxing with his family, was said to be relieved and happy that Robert Mueller's probe ended without any new indictments , according to people close to the White House.

The president notably dialed back his high-octane Twitter account over the weekend. Early Sunday morning, he tweeted: "Good Morning, Have A Great Day!" and "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" The relative silence stood in contrast with the previous weekend, when Trump unleashed more than 50 tweets, many scathing attacks on the investigations that imperiled his presidency.

Trump spent Sunday golfing with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, also a former South Carolina congressman, according to a White House official, as aides sought to keep the president busy during the tumultuous weekend.

The president has railed against Mueller for months, calling the investigation a politically motivated "witch hunt." The inquiry focused on whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 campaign, as well as whether the president tried to obstruct the probe.

A larger pack of aides than normal — including press secretary Sarah Sanders — traveled with Trump to Mar-a-Lago to manage any fallout. Trump was briefed on what his supporters would say on television throughout the weekend; aides hoped the president might stay quiet if he felt his messages were getting out even if he wasn't delivering them himself.

White House officials were cautious about declaring victory or getting ahead of the details, said a person familiar with White House thinking, who like others, insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Trump allies like Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan handled television interviews over the weekend, while White House officials were expected to speak more during the week.

Trump spent the weekend surrounded by aides, friends and family, including son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, who are at the Florida estate for spring break with their children. Trump's eldest son was out fishing with his children when the report was delivered.

The president and first lady Melania Trump celebrated their son Barron's 13th birthday with dinner on the patio of Mar-a-Lago on Friday night. Trump also attended a GOP dinner that night and basked in the applause of hundreds of dressed-to-the-nines attendees.

He spent Saturday golfing with singer-songwriter Kid Rock in temperatures that hit the 80s, and headed back to his golf club again on Sunday. Trump also spent time on the phone with trusted confidants.

The president's low-key approach was a marked shift from his posture in recent days. Beginning last weekend, he unleashed a storm of tweets that were unusually harsh and varied, even by Trump's standards.

He leveled fresh recriminations at the late Sen. John McCain. He called adviser Kellyanne Conway's husband a "loser husband from hell," former FBI Director James Comey a "dirty cop" and former Vice President Joe Biden as a "low I.Q. individual." And Trump tweeted ongoing denouncements about the Mueller probe, saying it is the "biggest scandal in the history of the country."

Aides blamed that Twitter explosion in part due to too much free time. Heading into this high-stakes weekend, Trump advisers made a point of keeping the president busy and focused on positive developments, according to the Republican close to the White House.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 921249

Reported Deaths: 9678
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1797812046
Ramsey744701052
Dakota68081589
Anoka64523585
Washington40846364
Stearns33805283
St. Louis29764413
Scott26116187
Wright26105223
Olmsted22502130
Sherburne19117128
Carver1677569
Clay12183107
Blue Earth1154270
Rice11505139
Crow Wing11275124
Chisago999580
Kandiyohi9861108
Otter Tail9860129
Benton9098126
Beltrami819598
Goodhue816899
Douglas7929101
Itasca777299
Mower736349
McLeod718284
Winona711658
Isanti704785
Steele689234
Morrison675380
Becker630474
Polk606187
Freeborn564847
Carlton549875
Mille Lacs535179
Lyon530961
Nobles526954
Nicollet525661
Pine517943
Cass503253
Todd494143
Brown471760
Le Sueur460534
Meeker435459
Martin388244
Wabasha377410
Waseca375933
Dodge364312
Hubbard356049
Roseau318631
Fillmore307415
Wadena304740
Redwood282145
Houston272417
Renville269851
Faribault259435
Sibley254417
Pennington253430
Kanabec251837
Cottonwood231232
Aitkin223751
Chippewa221242
Pope209410
Watonwan200021
Yellow Medicine189223
Rock178229
Koochiching177825
Swift173423
Stevens169311
Jackson161716
Clearwater158721
Marshall154222
Murray152711
Pipestone150529
Lake133624
Lac qui Parle123525
Wilkin121516
Mahnomen106414
Norman10569
Grant101810
Big Stone9555
Lincoln8885
Kittson73623
Red Lake71610
Traverse6076
Unassigned569124
Lake of the Woods5265
Cook3131

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 527597

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Unassigned18890
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
Rochester
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 19°
Albert Lea
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 23°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Tracking cold and snow for next week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events