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White House directly contradicts Trump on the Mueller report

Hours after Trump blasted the "Crazy Mueller Report," his staff is still praising it as a "total exoneration."

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Friday.
The White House tries to have it both ways on the Mueller report. Pictured: White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Fox News screenshot)

The White House is hailing special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as a “complete and total exoneration” of President Donald Trump, even as the president launched repeated attacks against the document, calling it “total bullshit.”

Trump tweeted on Friday that the “Crazy Mueller Report” was full of “total bullshit” statements about him. “This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened,” he wrote.

The report, which was made public on Thursday, laid out in great detail Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election, and outlined 10 instances involving Trump that may have constituted obstruction of justice.

Just hours later however, Hogan Gidley, Trump’s deputy press secretary, framed the report as a huge win for the president.

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“They’ve seen all the information,” he said. “They did not have anything to get him on, as it relates to collusion. They did not have anything to get him on in as it relates to obstruction. The fact is, it is a complete and total exoneration. And that’s what we are excited about today. Not just for the administration or this president, for the American people.”

The report does not, in fact, exonerate Trump on the matter of obstruction. In documenting the 10 episodes that may have amounted to illegal interference, Mueller noted he had not come to a conclusion on the subject, leaving it to Congress to make the final decision.

“The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred,” he wrote. “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — whose lies about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey are documented in Mueller’s report — pushed back against those remarks on Friday.

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“The big takeaway that I think we saw yesterday and that we’ve seen over the last two and a half years is that there wasn’t collusion with Russia, and it should be a day that every American can celebrate,” she said during an interview with ABC News.