News ID: 251649
Published: 0244 GMT April 19, 2019

Russia shrugs off Mueller report on US election meddling

Russia shrugs off Mueller report on US election meddling

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Friday dismissed the findings of the long-awaited report by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller and said it had failed to present any evidence of Russian meddling in US election, Russian news agencies reported.

The 400-page document outlining the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 22-month investigation, made public on Thursday, details extensive contacts between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian operatives.

The report did not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Trump's campaign and Russia but left open whether he had obstructed justice.

 Mueller's report recounts 10 episodes involving the president and potential obstruction of the investigation.

Trump on Friday dismissed unfavorable testimony in the Mueller report on Russian election interference as "fabricated" and labelled the document "crazy."

"Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue," he tweeted.

After reviewing the document, Attorney General Bill Barr and his deputy Rod Rosenstein concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge the president with obstruction.

Mueller, however, noted that while he was following Justice Department policy in not charging Trump, the evidence he gathered "does not exonerate" the Republican president.

Trump initially celebrated the publication of the report – which landed as the United States dives into the ferment of a bitter presidential campaign – saying at the White House that he was "having a good day."

But he was in a more defensive mood Friday, insisting that he had done nothing wrong.

Mueller said in his report that Trump's "efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

The episodes of potential wrongdoing, which will now be examined by the Democrat-led House of Representatives, include the firing of FBI chief James Comey, Trump's efforts to remove Mueller and his attempts to prevent disclosure of emails about the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials.

Democrats meanwhile have demanded action against Barr, arguing that Mueller's report undercut some of the attorney general's key claims about the obstruction issue and the White House's cooperation with the investigation.

"There are at least four significant ways that Mr. Barr has misled the public on the contents of the Mueller report," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement.

Eric Swalwell, a California congressman, called for Barr's resignation while several others berated him.

They accused Barr of suggesting publicly and falsely that Mueller had not intended for Congress to resolve the obstruction issue.

Reuters and AFP contributed to this report.




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