President Donald Trump declared Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election was a “total and complete exoneration” of him, even though the attorney general wrote that the findings stated otherwise.
Muller’s report was delivered to the Department of Justice on Saturday and summarized by Attorney General Wiliam Barr in a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday. Barr’s summary stated that Mueller did not find the Trump campaign colluded with Russian actors to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election but that the president had not been exonerated from possibly obstructing justice.
According to Barr’s summary, the special counsel wrote that, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Still, Trump tweeted the opposite.
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Twitter users were quick to fact-check the president, noting that the line Barr included in his summary about Trump not being exonerated was seemingly a direct quote from Mueller’s findings.
Fact-check — The letter from the Attorney General literally says something different: "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) March 24, 2019
The Mueller report does NOT exonerate you of obstruction. The House will investigate you and you are being investigated by New York Attorney General. Enjoy years of presidential harassment!— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 24, 2019
You’re a complete and utter liar. The report said that it “did not exonerate” you but left it up to the attorney general whether to indict you. Of course your self appointed guy wasn’t going to do that.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 24, 2019
“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also DOES NOT EXONERATE HIM.”— Ryan Knight (@ProudResister) March 24, 2019
We only know 65 words from Mueller’s report but he specifically said the report does not “exonerate” Trump https://t.co/nzGFHaC7Nb— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 24, 2019
Trump just said it is a "complete and total exoneration."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 24, 2019
Barr, literally quoting from Mueller: "While the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
SPECIAL COUNSEL: "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 24, 2019
WHITE HOUSE: "The findings of the DOJ are a total & complete exoneration of POTUS."
The Trump administration gaslights about everything. https://t.co/TeGeMG5sPG
Barr letter quotes Mueller: This “does not exonerate him.”— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 24, 2019
Conservatives: ”tHiS COmPLETeLy eXOnerAtES tRuMP!!!!!”
Reading is not fundamental for these folks.
Barr wrote that Mueller left the decision of whether to prosecute Trump for attempting to obstruct justice by interfering in the special counsel’s investigation to Barr. The attorney general wrote there wasn’t sufficient evidence to conclude Trump obstructed justice.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.