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.
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"I do like keeping them — they are intelligent people," added Trump. "They will come up with some thoughts. I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress which I think were helpful to me. I do like keeping them abreast, but I don't have to do it, legally."
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President Donald Trump walked back from the brink of atrocities last week, from calling off a military strike against Iran to pushing back planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in major American cities.
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told anchor Wolf Blitzer how foreign adversaries have been emboldened to challenge Trump — because for all his bombast, they know they are calling a bluff.
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