President Donald Trump declared Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election was a “total and complete exoneration” of him, even though the attorney general wrote that the findings stated otherwise.
Muller’s report was delivered to the Department of Justice on Saturday and summarized by Attorney General Wiliam Barr in a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday. Barr’s summary stated that Mueller did not find the Trump campaign colluded with Russian actors to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election but that the president had not been exonerated from possibly obstructing justice.
According to Barr’s summary, the special counsel wrote that, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Still, Trump tweeted the opposite.
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Twitter users were quick to fact-check the president, noting that the line Barr included in his summary about Trump not being exonerated was seemingly a direct quote from Mueller’s findings.
Fact-check — The letter from the Attorney General literally says something different: "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) March 24, 2019
The Mueller report does NOT exonerate you of obstruction. The House will investigate you and you are being investigated by New York Attorney General. Enjoy years of presidential harassment!— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 24, 2019
You’re a complete and utter liar. The report said that it “did not exonerate” you but left it up to the attorney general whether to indict you. Of course your self appointed guy wasn’t going to do that.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 24, 2019