Robert Mueller Says Trump Is Lying About His Report

“That is not what the report said.”

Alex Brandon/AP

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Back in March, when a summary of then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings was first released to the public, President Donald Trump triumphantly tweeted that he’d received a “Complete and Total EXONERATION.” But on Wednesday, Mueller said that simply wasn’t true.

“The president has repeatedly claimed that your report found that there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him,” noted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) at the start of a highly anticipated series of congressional hearings about Mueller’s Russia investigation. “But that is not what your report said, is it?” 

“Correct, that is not what the report said,” Mueller said.

“So, the report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice? Is that correct?” Nadler continued.

“That is correct,” Mueller responded.

“And what about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the president?” Nadler asked.

“No,” Mueller responded.

“In fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the president,” Nadler went on. 

“It does,” Mueller said.

Mueller has said this before, both in his report and in a brief public statement in May. But his clear and succinct responses Wednesday represented another blow to the president’s chief talking point when it comes to the scandal—that the absence of criminal charges in the Mueller report amounted to total exoneration. As Mueller has noted, longstanding Justice Department guidelines protect the president from being indicted on federal charges.

Later in his testimony, the former special counsel also noted that Trump refused to sit down for an interview with investigators, despite multiple attempts by Mueller’s team to convince Trump to do so.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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