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Trump And Attorney General Barr Say Mueller Report Shows No Collusion

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

WILLIAM BARR: Special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into matters related to Russian attempts to interfere in our 2016 presidential election.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today, Attorney General William Barr released to the public the long-awaited Mueller report. In a news conference this morning, Barr, appointed by President Trump last December, repeatedly characterized the report as exonerating the president.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

BARR: The special counsel found no evidence...

...No collusion...

...That any American...

...By any American...

...Did not find any evidence that...

...In other words, there was no evidence of the Trump campaign collusion...

...As he said from the beginning...

...With the Russian government's...

...There was, in fact, no collusion.

So that's the bottom line.

CORNISH: That sentiment was echoed today by the president himself.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm having a good day, too. It was called no collusion, no obstruction.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The report itself was partially redacted in many places, but here are some of what it had to say. With regard to obstruction of justice, the special counsel investigated at least 10 actions taken by President Trump. The report does not implicate the president but also does not exonerate him. Quote, "if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment."

CORNISH: On the question of so-called collusion, the report found numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. But as to whether Trump or his associates illegally conspired with Russian government operatives offering assistance, the report said this, quote, "in some instances, the campaign was receptive to the offer, while in other instances, the campaign officials shied away. Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.