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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 3:14 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 3:14 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
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