It's clear Trump doesn't understand what the phrase 'insufficient evidence' actually means
Special counsel Bob Mueller (left) and President Donald Trump (right). Images via screengrab.

Special counsel Robert Mueller spent just eight minutes giving a summary of his 400-page, two-volume report, but it's clear that President Donald Trump doesn't fully understand what was said, according to Bloomberg.


Their report explained that the Republican Party and the president have latched onto the phrase "insufficient evidence." Mueller outlined facts that Russia intervened in the American election in 2016 and did so to help Trump. While there were numerous incidents where Trump officials met with Russians, Mueller could never get Trump to answer questions in person. Instead of exonerating Trump, he said there was "insufficient evidence" to prove a conspiracy.

From the moment Attorney General Bill Barr used the phrase to justify inaction, it became the talking-point for Trump and the Republican Party.

"Barr distorted the actual factual and legal narrative by saying no collusion and no obstruction," Bloomberg quoted former federal prosecutor Kimberly Wehle. "It's not all or nothing, black or white."

Trump is similarly clinging to the phrase.

"Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence, and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you," Trump tweeted this week.

Still, that's not what Mueller said. Mueller made it clear that the burden of proof for the indictment of a president is high and even if it was met, Mueller didn't conclude it was his role to indict.

In the second volume of his report, however, Mueller never used the phrase "insufficient evidence." Instead, he outlined ten examples of Trump seeming to obstruct justice. It was Barr that used the phrase to conclude they couldn't charge obstruction of justice.

"Evidence 'not sufficient' sounds like language that could have come from Mueller," Bloomberg explained. "But it didn't -- at least on the obstruction question. Just the opposite: Mueller said Wednesday that 'if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.' He then reiterated the view that 'under longstanding Department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.'"

Read the full report from Bloomberg.