Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is finished, but other investigations continue. President Donald Trump is apparently unaware of that fact.
“You know they say there are lots of things. I don’t know about these things, just so you understand,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo in a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday, when asked about additional investigations. “Everyone says this one that one, I don’t even know about this. I called, I said to my lawyers, are we being looked at here? They don’t even know what people are talking about.”
The president added, “There’s so much fake news out there, it’s a disgrace. If you look over the past two years, how many breaking news stories was there about me that turned out to be nonexistent? So many of them.”
Mueller delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr on Friday, and on Sunday, Barr sent a letter to members of Congress, summarizing those findings. In the letter, Barr stated that Mueller found neither Trump nor his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, but noted the report did not exonerate the president from any crimes.
The Justice Department is not recommending any additional indictments following the report’s completion.
However, several other investigations continue, many of which are focused on Trump himself. The Southern District of New York office is currently investigating the donations and expenditures of the Trump inaugural committee into the Trump Organization, as well as alleged campaign finance violations by Trump’s former personal attorney and longtime fixer, Michael Cohen.
Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison for tax and bank fraud, and campaign violations in connections to payments he made ahead of the 2016 election to women who claim they had affairs with Trump. Cohen testified to Congress that Trump personally directed him to make the payments in order to sway the results of the election.
Several House investigations into Trump and Russian interference in the campaign will continue as well. The House Oversight Committee is conducting multiple inquiries, including looking at Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The House Intelligence Committee is looking into possible campaign finance violations, as well.
The interview with Trump was taped prior to the Mueller report’s official delivery, and the president used the opportunity to repeat claims that the investigation was a “witch hunt.”
“It’s all a big hoax. It’s a witch hunt and a hoax. You asked me a question, it’s a very interesting question,” Trump said. In fact, he added, it’s actually “the other side” that has been committing crimes, pointing to Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails and, without specifying what exactly he was referring to, “Comey’s lying.”
Speaking about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, he added, “They all say Flynn — I don’t know anything about what he said — but the FBI said he didn’t lie. Mueller said he did lie, so what’s that all about? And then they destroy a man who was a general and a respected man for many years.”
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in December 2017.
Trump then tried to place blame for the investigation on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the investigation in 2017 and was later dismissed in November 2018, following repeated threats from Trump.
“We have been treated very, very unfairly all because Jeff sessions didn’t have a clue, okay?” Trump said. “And he recused himself.”
This article has been updated to include comments from Attorney General William Barr regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report.