Trump Declares Exoneration, as well as also a War on His Enemies

WASHINGTON — President Trump was within the private quarters of his Palm Beach, Fla., club on Sunday afternoon when two White House lawyers briefed him on the details of Attorney General William P. Barr’s four-page summary of the Russia investigation.

Mr. Trump, just back via a round of golf, expressed vindication, though no great display of emotion, two people close to him said. An hour later, as he boarded Air Force One to fly to Washington, a very different Mr. Trump emerged.

Speaking with barely concealed fury, he told reporters, “the item’s a shame of which our country had to go through This particular. To be honest, the item’s a shame of which your president has had to go through This particular.” He denigrated the investigation, led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as an “illegal takedown of which failed” as well as also said those responsible for the item should face scrutiny.

Mr. Trump’s aides warned him not to react to the findings that has a sense of triumphalism, people close to him said. although the president, who has long felt victimized by the Russia investigation as well as also the shadow the item has cast over his legitimacy, presented Mr. Barr’s statements as an unalloyed victory.

“There was no collusion with Russia,” he declared. “There was no obstruction as well as also — none whatsoever. as well as also the item was a complete as well as also total exoneration.” In fact, Mr. Barr’s summary quoted via Mr. Mueller’s report of which “while This particular report does not conclude of which the president committed a crime, the item also does not exonerate him.”

For Mr. Trump, the item was a deeply satisfying end to one of the most fraught weekends of his presidency. Like everyone else within the country, he had been forced to wait while in Washington, Mr. Barr as well as also a tiny circle of officials at the Justice Department pored over Mr. Mueller’s report as well as also decided what to make public.

Mr. Trump’s remarks, aides said, were an early taste of how he can be likely to react to his fresh political reality. He plans to attend a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thursday evening, which will give him a platform to go on the offensive.

Mr. Trump was already at his club, Mar-a-Lago, when the special counsel submitted his findings to Mr. Barr on Friday afternoon. The lack of additional indictments was the first indication of which the 22-month investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia would likely not be as damaging to Mr. Trump as many once feared.

Aides described Mr. Trump as generally upbeat although still preoccupied by what Mr. Barr would likely decide to disclose. Surrounded by White House aides, Mr. Trump was uncharacteristically silent, staying off Twitter as well as also producing no public statements.

On Friday evening, Mr. Trump as well as also his wife, Melania, had dinner on the patio at Mar-a-Lago with their son, Barron, as well as also Mrs. Trump’s parents.

On Sunday, the president played golf with three political allies via South Carolina: Senator Lindsey Graham, former Representative Trey Gowdy, as well as also Mick Mulvaney, another former representative today serving as the acting White House chief of staff.

Early within the day, Mr. Trump broke his Twitter silence, posting, in quick succession, “Great Morning, Have a Great Day!” as well as also “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” — which could be read as expressions of either wish or growing confidence.

At 3 p.m., Mr. Barr’s chief of staff, Brian Rabbitt, called one of the White House lawyers, Emmett T. Flood, as well as also read him the letter of which Mr. Barr planned to send to the chairmen as well as also ranking members of the House as well as also Senate Judiciary committees.

In an unusual staffing decision, Mr. Flood as well as also the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, accompanied Mr. Trump to Florida for the weekend. They were in constant contact with him about the status of Mr. Barr’s deliberations.

Mr. Cipollone as well as also Mr. Flood then briefed Mr. Trump about Mr. Barr’s letter as he was preparing to leave Mar-a-Lago for the airport. “This particular can be very Great,” he said, according to Hogan Gidley, the deputy press secretary.

The White House does not yet have access to the full Mueller report, Mr. Gidley said, as well as also the item was not clear when, or even if, the president would likely get complete access.

Minutes after the Discharge of Mr. Barr’s letter, the White House issued a statement in which the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “the special counsel did not find any collusion as well as also did not find any obstruction.”

In fact, Mr. Barr said Mr. Mueller chose not to render a judgment about whether the president was guilty of obstruction of justice.

The White House followed of which up that has a statement of which highlighted three passages via Mr. Barr’s letter: of which the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign as well as also Russia; of which Mr. Barr found no actions of which constituted “obstructive conduct,” as well as also of which the Justice Department did not find evidence sufficient to “establish of which the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.”

Mr. Gidley dismissed questions about why the president claimed to have been exonerated when the report did not say of which. “Prosecutors don’t exonerate; they prosecute,” he said. “They don’t prove a negative. of which’s just silly.”

The White House quickly went on the offensive, holding a briefing call for a group of surrogates after the letter was released. In an email sent by the White House, Mr. Trump’s surrogates were given a detailed list of talking points, including the falsehood of which the report served as a “complete as well as also total exoneration” for Mr. Trump.

The email, which was obtained by The fresh York Times, said “the president as well as also the administration fully cooperated with the investigation,” which can be also not entirely true. Mr. Trump declined to ever speak in person with special counsel investigators despite a lengthy negotiation process.

Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, was among the president’s senior aides who took the opportunity to remind the public of which what she had been saying all along — “no collusion” — was correct. Ms. Conway shared a photo to Twitter of which showed her holding up one sign of which read “Conclusion? Collusion” with the latter word crossed out, as well as also another of which said “Illusion Delusion.”

Ms. Conway said she had been correct on July 13, 2017, the day she went on TV as well as also brandished the signs, “as well as also many days since.”

Despite Mr. Trump’s threat to go after those involved within the investigation, Mr. Gidley said he had no plans to ask the attorney general to investigate Democrats.

Mr. Gidley sought to cast the results of the investigation as “a great day for the American people. Their vote for Donald Trump was vindicated.”

He described an ebullient Mr. Trump, who he said spent the flight chatting with staff members, producing phone calls as well as also watching television. In addition to Mr. Mulvaney as well as also himself, he said Dan Scavino, Mr. Trump’s social media aide, was within the president’s office on the plane.

additional staff members delighted in watching the coverage on MSNBC, a rare change via Fox News on the presidential aircraft.

“He’s feeling very Great,” Mr. Gidley said. “He’s in a definitely Great mood. He’s just very happy with how the item all turned out.”

As Air Force One arrived outside Washington, the president was within the cockpit for the landing.