Barr Repeatedly Defends Trump Ahead of Mueller Report Release

President Donald Trump speaks at an Opportunity Zone conference with state local tribal and community leaders South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex Wednesday

The long-awaited publication of the two-year investigation followed a disputed summary released last month, which was seized on by the White House as proof that the president did not collude with Russian Federation and that he had not obstructed justice.

Twelve times Trump took to Twitter in the hours before Attorney General William Barr outlined the findings of the report.

Ahead of the report's release, Barr defended Trump in a press conference.

The Justice Department's careful excisions begin as early as the fourth page of the report.

"He'll address whether that was invoked and what that looked like", KerriKupec said.

The report included an account of how the president attempted to seize control of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election and force out Mueller from leading the inquiry.

DETROW: Yeah. I think this is going to be a part of the Barr press conference that Democrats especially focus in on.

Mueller took over the Russian Federation investigation after Trump abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey, a move that raised questions about his potential obstruction of justice.

A cardboard cutout of US Attorney General William Barr is seen as protesters hold signs which read "Barr Coverup" at the White House in Washington.

"It's a disgrace to see an Attorney General acting as if he's the personal attorney and publicist for the President of the United States", tweeted Massachusetts Sen.

The Special Counsel left the decision to Congress: "With respect to whether the president can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a president's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice".

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Mueller's team wrote that Trump's answers were "inadequate".

Barr formulated the report's roll-out and briefed the White House on his plans, according to a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

GREENE: Now, of course, the attorney general speaking there before the redacted report is being released to the public.

The announcement Wednesday that Barr would be talking to the public and the press in advance of the redacted report's release came as a surprise.

Thirty percent of 1,005 people interviewed in a Fox News poll said they had never heard of Barr, who has been at the center of a political firestorm surrounding Mueller's investigation since he was sworn in two months ago. It was also to lay out the special counsel's conclusions about formative episodes in Trump's presidency, including his firing of FBI Director James Comey and his efforts to undermine the Russian Federation investigation publicly and privately.

In his remarks, Barr repeatedly emphasized that Trump did not collude with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election. Barr acknowledged Mueller's report did not exonerate Trump on obstruction.

He said he was aware of some reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made "complimentary statements" about him.

Barr said he was withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to ongoing investigation and the privacy or reputation of uncharged "peripheral" people. But Milkovich says it's time for his party to end its investigations of the president.

A redacted version of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller was sent to Congress on Thursday morning and was then published online to the general public. It described an episode on June 17, 2017, when Trump called White House Counsel Don McGahn at home to direct McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed.

Mueller submitted the report to Barr on March 22.

It also mentioned that Trump was mad at Sessions for recusing himself from handling the investigation, and asked him, "How could you let this happen, Jeff?" This is awful. This is the end of my Presidency. The report's publication marks a new peak in a political storm raging over Washington throughout the first half of Trump's first term in office.

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