The Latest: Pence claims ‘total vindication’ for Trump



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WASHINGTON — The Latest on the conclusion of the special counsel’s Russia investigation (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is claiming that special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered “total vindication” of President Donald Trump.

Pence said Monday that despite the two-year Russia investigation and what he described as “reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media” the special counsel confirmed “there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.”

Pence claimed that Attorney General William Barr “also confirmed that there was no obstruction of justice.” But according to Barr, Mueller reached no conclusion on whether there was obstruction of justice.

Pence spoke at an annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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7:40 a.m.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says President Donald Trump will let the attorney general decide whether the special counsel’s Russia report should be publicly released, though she adds that “he’s more than happy for any of this stuff to come out.”

Sanders spoke to NBC’s “Today” show Monday as White House aides and allies blanketed television news broadcasts to trumpet a summary of the report that said that Robert Mueller did not find evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Asked last week about publicly releasing the report, Trump said: “Let it come out. Let people see it. That’s up to the attorney general.”

Asked whether Trump would support release of the report, Sanders told NBC, “I don’t think the president has any problem with it,” but stressed the decision was up to Attorney General William Barr.

Barr issued a four page summary of Mueller’s findings Sunday. Democrats are demanding the full report.

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12:20 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. That from Attorney General William Barr on Sunday. The report brought a hearty claim of vindication from Trump but set the stage for new rounds of political and legal fighting.

Trump cheered the outcome but also laid bare his resentment after two years of investigations that have shadowed his administration. Democrats pointed out that Mueller found evidence for and against obstruction and demanded to see his full report. They insisted that even the summary by the president’s attorney general hardly put him in the clear.


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