President Donald Trump on Wednesday told a blatant lie about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
During a press gaggle with reporters in the White House, Trump once again railed against the special counsel, whom he claimed was out to get him.
Trump added a new twist to his latest Mueller rant, however, by claiming that the special counsel’s report showed that his campaign was not interested in receiving help from the Russians in 2016.
“It said no collusion and no obstruction and no nothing,” the president said. “And, in fact, it said we actually rebuffed… Russia, that we actually pushed them back, we rebuffed them.”
In fact, the Mueller report documents how the Trump campaign “expected it would benefit electorally” from Russia’s efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Most infamously, Trump son Donald Trump Jr. said he would “love” to have Russians help the campaign obtain damaging information on Clinton, and he arranged a meeting with Russian nationals that included Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Additionally, Mueller found that Manafort shared internal campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian national whom the FBI believes has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort gave Kilimnik this data, the report states, with the expectation that it would then be given to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum tycoon with deep ties to the Kremlin.
And in August 2016, Trump himself publicly welcomed Russia’s help in the election when he publicly encouraged it to obtain Clinton’s hacked emails — which happened to coincide with a new effort by Russian hackers to infiltrate Clinton’s campaign mere hours later.
Additionally, the entire Mueller report uses the word “rebuff” precisely once: In a footnote in which the word is part of a quoted newspaper headline.
Watch the video of Trump lying about the Mueller report below.
CNN’s Elie Honig praises DOJ lawyers for revolt against Barr: ‘Like students rising up against the oppressive headmaster’
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Thursday heaped praise upon Department of Justice prosecutors who disregarded many of the changes to sentencing guidelines for convicted Trump ally Roger Stone that were made by Attorney General Bill Barr.
When asked by CNN's Kate Bolduan for his reaction to the prosecutors' actions, Honig responded enthusiastically.
"I applaud what this prosecutor is doing," he said. "And as a DOJ alumni on the front lines trying cases, I'm so impressed by this. This is like the scene [in a movie] where the students rise up and push back against the oppressive headmaster."
‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.
Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.
"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"
‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator
On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.
"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."
"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."