Wednesday 22 May 2019

Nine key quotes from U.S. Special Counsel Mueller's report

Donald Trump boards Air force One. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump boards Air force One. Photo: Reuters

Richard Cowan, Susan Cornwell and Sarah N. Lynch

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday released a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his nearly two-year investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia or attempted to obstruct probes.

The following are some key quotes from Mueller's 448-page report:

"When (former Attorney General Jeff) Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm f***ed.'"

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"The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

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"Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

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"The Russian contacts (with Trump's campaign) consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved U.S.-Russian relations."

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"The evidence supports the inference that the President intended (former campaign Chairman Paul) Manafort to believe that he could receive a pardon, which would make cooperation with the government as a means of obtaining a lesser sentence unnecessary."

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"You gotta do this. You gotta call Rod ...," Trump told former White House Counsel Donald McGahn during a June 17, 2017, phone call in which he asked McGahn to remove Mueller due to conflicts of interest.

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"Call Rod, tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts and can't be the Special Counsel," Trump said during a second phone call that same day. "Mueller has to go ... Call me back when you do it."

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"I don't have a lawyer," Trump told aides on March 3, 2017, the day after learning that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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"You're telling me that Bobby and Jack didn't talk about investigations? Or Obama didn't tell Eric Holder who to investigate?" Trump asked Don McGahn in connection with frustration over Sessions' recusal.

Reuters

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