Attorney General William Barr on Thursday corrected a reporter’s assertion that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was “his,” reminding him that Mueller authored the report on behalf of the Justice Department.
“There’s a lot of public interest in the absence of the special counsel and members of this team. Was he invited to join you up on the podium? Why is he not here?” a reporter asked. “This is his report, obviously that you’re talking about today.”
“Not it’s not,” Barr shot back. “It’s a report he did for me as the attorney general. He is required under the regulation to provide me with a confidential report. I’m here to discuss my response to that report and my decision to — entirely discretionary to me — to make it public since these reports are not supposed to be made public.”
Barr reiterated Thursday that Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election found no evidence of collusion or obstruction on the part of President Donald Trump.
Similar to the summary he provided after the report was released last month, Barr said the investigation found evidence that the Russians spread disinformation on social media, hacked into the Democratic campaign’s emails and peddled that stolen information to WikiLeaks and others.
“We now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign,” Barr said in a Thursday morning news conference.
Charges are pending in these cases but the Russian agents are at large.
Barr is scheduled to release at 11 a.m. a redacted version of the long-awaited report from Mueller, which runs nearly 400 pages. The report will be released to high-ranking members of Congress first, then posted online for the public.
Watch the Full Press Conference:
The UPI contributed to this report.
UPDATE: A sentence inaccurately identifying the reporter who asked the question has been removed.