President Trump sought Friday to discredit portions of the special counsel’s report in which others described behavior that could be seen as obstruction of justice, calling their assertions “total bullshit.”
Less than 24 hours ago, Trump and his allies took a victory lap after the 448-page redacted report was made public, saying that the findings fully exonerate him. But in morning tweets, Trump complained about the report’s finding, arguing that because he chose not to testify during the probe, he never got to tell his side of the story.
Robert S. Mueller III tried to get the president to sit for an interview for more than a year, but Trump and his attorneys resisted.
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,” Trump wrote. “Watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes,’ when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the ‘Report’ about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).”
He continued: “This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a . . .”
He didn’t finish his thought.
Tweeting from Mar-a-Lago, where he is spending Easter weekend, Trump did not specify which portions of the report he is disputing, but he was likely pushing back against descriptions of acts that Muller catalogued as possible instances of obstruction of justice.
While Mueller found insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy by the Trump campaign, he did lay out 10 scenarios in which the president sought to intervene in the investigation that could be deemed criminal. Mueller chose not to draw a conclusion about that in the report, leaving it up to others to determine whether Trump’s actions amounted to crimes.
In his tweet, Trump mentions note taking, probably a reference to Donald McGahn, who plays a prominent role in the report. McGahn, who was a top lawyer in the White House, in several instances blocked Trump’s efforts to interfere in the investigation.
In one account, McGahn refuses to release a statement repudiating a New York Times story that Trump had asked McGahn to have Mueller fired. The reason, according to McGahn, was that the story was accurate.
McGahn said he took contemporaneous notes during his meetings with Trump, adding that it seemed to irritate the president, who told him: “Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes.”
McGahn responded that “real lawyers” do.
Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, appearing on “Fox and Friends,” said the reference to note taking could also be about former FBI director James B. Comey. Giuliani also said that given the level of detail in the report, it’s not possible that “some of it isn’t wrong.”
“They don’t give you the other side of it,” he said.