Attorney General William Barr took a swipe at the media on Thursday during a press conference in which he reiterated that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had found no evidence of collusion with Russia.
“There was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability, yet as he said from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion.” Barr told reporters in advance of the release of a redacted version of Mueller’s investigation. “There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.”
“President Trump faced an unprecedented situation,” Barr added. “As he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates.”
Barr said the Justice Department would post the entire report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller to its website later today and that the version would contain only limited redactions.
The White House has already viewed a version of the reports, and Barr said that Trump has waived any executive privilege rights to additional redactions in the interest of transparency.
In the press conference, Barr broadly reiterated his four-page summary of the 400-page Mueller report that he sent last month.
“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Barr wrote in his summary, while also noting that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”