After two years, $25.2 million, almost 3,000 subpoenas and approximately 500 witnesses interviewed, does President Trump owe Robert Mueller an apology?
That’s the question NBC host Savannah Guthrie asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday in the wake of Attorney General William Barr releasing the “principal conclusions” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s completed Russia probe in a bombshell four-page letter to Capitol Hill lawmakers.
“Did Robert Mueller deserve better from the president than this kind of language and behavior?” Guthrie asked on “Today.”
“For the last two years the president has absolutely eviscerated Bob Mueller, a lifelong public servant, a former Marine, a registered Republican.
“He’s called him a national disgrace, discredited, a prosecutor gone rogue who oversaw a gang of thugs.”
Sanders shot back, “Are you kidding?” before countering that Democrats had accused Trump of committed acts “equal to treason.”
Guthrie returned fire: “He called Robert Mueller — he trashed him for two years, and in the end Mueller just did an investigation that ultimately the president considers a total exoneration of him.”
The White House press secretary then slammed the Democrats, and parts of the media, in response.
“I think Democrats and the liberal media owe the president and they owe the American people an apology,” she said.
William Barr on Sunday released the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s completed Russia probe in a bombshell four-page letter to Capitol Hill lawmakers, which stated definitively that Mueller did not establish evidence that Trump’s team or any associates of the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election — “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”
For Trump, who has tweeted more than 230 times that he did not collude with Russians amid a torrent of allegations from media and political figures, the moment amounted to a near-total vindication. Although Mueller noted that his report did not “exonerate” Trump on obstruction, Barr wrote, the “report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public.”
- Gregg Re contributed to this report.