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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: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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