Trump Declares Exoneration, and a War on His Enemies

Claiming vindication, Mr. Trump called the investigation an “illegal takedown that failed” and said those behind it should face scrutiny.


Trump responds to AG summary of Mueller report – YouTube/CNN


Trump declares victory - merlin_152576232_e09c390e-e1b8-463f-8cde-4f6f087ed31b-superJumbo

President Trump spent his flight back to Washington on Sunday chatting with his staff members, making phone calls and watching television. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — President Trump was in 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 from 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, “It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this.” He denigrated the investigation, led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as an “illegal takedown that failed” and said those responsible for it should face scrutiny.

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

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