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Trump pounces on Justice Department report findings

President Donald Trump on Friday used a 500-page internal watchdog report issued by the Justice Department to declare...

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 4:14 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 4:14 PM

President Donald Trump on Friday used a 500-page internal watchdog report issued by the Justice Department to declare himself entirely absolved in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

But he stopped short of announcing he would move to end the probe, which he's repeatedly discredited and declared a "witch hunt."

"I think the report yesterday, maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me," Trump said during an impromptu question-and-answer session with reporters at the White House.

"There was no collusion, there was no obstruction," Trump said. "And if you read the report, you'll see that."

The report Trump was referring to actually found no evidence that the prosecutors handling the Hillary Clinton email probe were motivated by politics. But Trump nonetheless insisted the document -- released by the Justice Department inspector general -- revealed partisan prejudice.

"What you'll really see is bias against me and against tens of millions of my followers. That is really a disgrace," he said, surrounded by reporters following an appearance on Fox News.

Earlier in the day, Trump used Twitter to decry messages exchanged between two FBI employees expressing a desire to "stop" him from becoming president.

"Doesn't get any lower than that!" Trump tweeted, a day after the highly anticipated inspector general's report was released.

The report chastised FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page for exchanging a series of anti-Trump text messages, asserting they "cast a cloud" over the FBI's actions. In one, Strzok wrote Page "we'll stop it," referring to Trump's election.

But the report said there was no evidence "to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions" that were the subject of controversy, such as allowing immunity agreements or having fact witnesses sit in on others interviews prior to July 5, 2016.

However, the inspector general was troubled by the FBI's month-long delay in obtaining a search warrant to review emails possibly related to the investigation on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop in the fall of 2016. The report specifically calls out Strzok's decision to "prioritize" the Russia investigation over following-up on the laptop issue, leading the report unable to conclude it was "free from bias."

Strzok's lawyer, Aitan Goelman, called that conclusion "bizarre," and said that the delay was caused by a "variety of factors and miscommunications that had nothing to do with Special Agent Strzok's political views." He added that "every witness asked by the (inspector general) said that Strzok's work was never influenced by political views."

Strzok worked briefly for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. But he was removed from that office after other politically charged texts came to light. Thursday's report did not address whether Strzok's political views affected the Russia investigation -- that is for another report still to come.

Some of Trump's allies, including his attorney Rudy Giuliani, have suggested the report may be enough to force an end to Mueller's investigation. But Trump indicated on Friday he was not prepared to suspend the probe, even as he declared it disgraced.

"The problem with the Mueller investigation is that everyone has massive conflicts," he said. "I think that the Mueller investigation has been totally discredited."

Trump has lambasted the investigation, saying it amounts to a "witch hunt." He has questioned the impartiality of the FBI, and raised the specter of a "deep state" out to get him.

Trump also called the report a "total disaster" for former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017. The report called his actions overseeing the Hillary Clinton email investigation "extraordinary and insubordinate" and flouted the department's norms -- but that Comey was not motivated by political bias.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
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