President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as an “attempted coup” that failed and praised Attorney General William Barr for saying he is investigating how the probe began — a move congressional Republicans have long advocated.
“This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president and we beat them. We beat them,” Trump told reporters at the White House ahead of his departure for Texas. “So the Mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. You know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was: It was a scam.”
At about the same time, Barr, on Capitol Hill, said “I think spying did occur: on the Trump campaign and he wanted to look into how it began and whether it was legally justified.
Trump also blasted what he called the “haters of Trump” and “dirty cops” and bad people” who worked on the investigation but, according to him, still found no evidence of the campaign colluding with Russia to influence the presidential election.
“What has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. And hopefully that’s where people are going now. That’s where people are going, and it’s very interesting. It was an illegal investigation,” Trump said.
Trump said he still has not read the Mueller report and said he’s not interested in the report, beyond the possibility that the Justice Department could look into the origins of the investigation.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care about the Mueller report. I’ve been totally exonerated. No collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said. “I am not worrying about something that never, ever should have taken place.”