TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Trump erupts after special counsel says he’s not exonerated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump angrily assailed special counsel Robert Mueller’s motives on Thursday, a day after Mueller bluntly rebuffed Trump’s repeated claims that the Russia investigation had cleared him of obstructing justice.

The president also offered mixed messages on Russia’s efforts to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign. Early in the day, Trump tweeted he had “nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected.” That was the first time he seemed to acknowledge that Russia tried to help his campaign. Then on the White House South Lawn, Trump told reporters: “Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn’t help me at all.”

Mueller’s report said Russia interfered in the election in hopes of getting Trump elected, but his findings and intelligence officials have stopped short of saying the efforts contributed to Trump’s victory.

Trump’s 20-minute eruption underscored that he remains deeply distressed over the probe that has shadowed his presidency for nearly two years, even after Mueller announced his resignation and the closure of his office. Democrats are mulling the possibility of impeachment proceedings.

Trump insisted that he’s been tough on Russia and that Moscow would have preferred Clinton as president. But that’s not what Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. When asked last year in Helsinki whether he wanted Trump to become president, Putin replied: “Yes, I did.”

On Wednesday, Mueller, in his first public remarks on the Russia investigation, pointedly rejected Trump’s claims — repeated almost daily — that the special counsel’s investigation cleared him of criminal activity and was a “witch hunt.” Mueller emphasized that he had not exonerated Trump on the question of whether he obstructed justice, but said charging Trump with any crime was “not an option” because of Justice Department rules.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller declared.

Trump repeated his baseless claims that Mueller is “conflicted,” contending that Mueller, who served as FBI director under President George W. Bush, wanted his old job back, but that he had told him no. He said Mueller, a Republican, was “a true never Trumper” and “didn’t get a job that he wanted very badly.”

Mueller had been considered for the FBI director position shortly before being named as special counsel. But then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has said that while the White House had invited Mueller to speak to the president about the FBI and thought about asking him to become director again, Mueller did not come in looking for a job.

Trump also said Mueller should have investigated law enforcement officials who the president claims tried to undermine him. Mueller’s mandate, however, was to investigate Russian election interference, possible coordination with the Trump campaign and any obstruction of that investigation.

Among those whom Trump says Mueller should have investigated were members of the special counsel’s own team, including Peter Strzok, a former FBI agent who helped lead the investigation and exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 election with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Strzok was removed from Mueller’s investigative team following the discovery of the texts and later was fired from the FBI. Page has left the bureau. Strzok told Congress that there was “no conspiracy” at the FBI to prevent Trump from becoming president.

Trump, asked about impeachment by Congress, called it a “dirty word” and said he couldn’t imagine the courts allowing him to be impeached. “I don’t think so because there’s no crime,” he said.

Mueller made clear that his team never considered indicting Trump because the Justice Department prohibits the prosecution of a sitting president. He and others have indicated that the next move, if any, is up to Congress, which has the power of impeachment. Trump has blocked House committees’ subpoenas and other efforts to dig into the Trump-Russia issue, insisting Mueller’s report has settled everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Florida’s Randy Ross to Present “Grassroots Wins Elections” in Silicon Valley Sunday

SILICON VALLEY, Ca. (FNN NEWS) - Following a trend seen in the past year, a…

California governor signs law to limit shootings by police

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Spurred by the fatal police shooting of a young unarmed black…

Omar: Go to Israel, see ‘cruel reality of the occupation’

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized Israel…

[OPINION] Epstein: Suicide or Murder?

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - According to the Bureau of Prisons, on the morning of…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Rick Singh, 2019 State of Orange County Real Estate Lean into Tech

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Nearly 1,000 attendees filled Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA) Rick…

Governor DeSantis: Florida Joins 29 States in Enhancing Voter Registration

ORLANDO, Fla. – (FNN NEWS) - On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced at the…

Governor DeSantis Announces New Health Plans for State Retirees that Offer Access to Affordable, High-Quality Care

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced today that new health plan options will be…

Orange County Property Appraiser to Host 2019 State of Orange County Real Estate Event

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, CFA, will deliver the 2019 State…

FNN SPORTS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Jaguars Sign Quadree Henderson and Davis Tull, Cut Two

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed second-year WR Quadree Henderson and second-year LB Davis Tull,…

Special Olympics Athletes Unite to Inspire and Design 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Logo

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Special Olympics // Today, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Organizing Committee…

Jaguars Launch New Mobile App and Introduce Secure Digital Ticketing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars today introduced an all-new mobile app through a partnership…

Orlando Pride Defender Toni Pressley Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Source: Orlando Pride // Orlando Pride defender Toni Pressley has…

Orlando City Brings Out Big Guns in 2-0 Victory Against FC Dallas

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Orlando City SC, fresh from MLS All-Star Week and the…

Governor Ron DeSantis to Attend the 2019 MLS All-Star Game

ORLANDO, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis to attend the 2019 MLS All-Star Game and visit…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Mass Shootings Give Rise to Bullet-Resistant Backpacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies like Guard Dog Security, TuffyPacks and Bullet Blocker are peddling…

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Universal // Universal Orlando Resort revealed that for the…

Orlando Continues to Support Small Businesses

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Small businesses play such an important role in the economies…

S&P 500 posts its worst week of 2019 as trade tensions flare

Investors rattled by President Donald Trump’s latest escalation in his trade war with China drove…

ID theft stings, but it’s hard to pin on specific data hacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Equifax 2017. Marriott 2018. Capital One 2019. Data breaches through hacking attacks…

Apple Announces New Batch of Emojis on World Emoji Day

Cupertino, CA (FNN NEWS) — July 17th is National Emoji Day! What better way to celebrate…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • NEW YORK (AP) - Cardi B pleads not guilty to new charges in strip club brawl

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Universal // Universal Orlando Resort revealed that for the…

Orange TV Shines throughout a Quarter Century of Excellence

In 1995, when Orange TV began as a 24-hour broadcast station that televised programming related…

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison Dead at 88

NEW YORK (AP) — Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, a pioneer and reigning giant of modern…

US presidential envoy sent to Sweden for A$AP Rocky’s trial

HELSINKI (AP) — American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial…

Photos: Wall Street Plaza Comes Alive with Orlando City Viewing Party & MLS All-Star Concert

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Soccer fans from all over the world gathered at Wall…

Man in A$AP Rocky case allegedly hit with bottle, kicked

HELSINKI (AP) — The man allegedly assaulted by American rapper A$AP Rocky and two other…

LIFESTYLE: TRAVEL, TOURISM, THEME PARKS

  • This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters
    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theaters

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Rick Singh, 2019 State of Orange County Real Estate Lean into Tech

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Nearly 1,000 attendees filled Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA) Rick…

Lavish Orlando Boat Show Returns to Orange County Convention Center

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Orlando Boat Show has taken over the Orange County…

City of Orlando Re-Opens Constitution Green Park

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Residents and their dogs gathered in Downtown Orlando to be…

[VIDEO] Exclusive: Orlando Flash Flooding Causes Stalled Cars and Traffic Delays at Fashion Square

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - One of Florida’s typical “afternoon monsoons,” in this case a…

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Universal // Universal Orlando Resort revealed that for the…

[Cannabis 101] Bud Fact Sheet: Afghan Kush

If you're pursuing medical marijuana for your wellbeing, you may think all marijuana is created…