Trump didn’t coordinate with Russia in 2016, report declares
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, Attorney General William Barr declared Sunday. That brought a hearty claim of vindication from Trump but set the stage for new rounds of political and legal fighting.
Trump cheered the outcome but also laid bare his resentment after two years of investigations that have shadowed his administration. “It’s a shame that our country has had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this,” he said.
Democrats pointed out that Mueller found evidence for and against obstruction and demanded to see his full report. They insisted that even the summary by the president’s attorney general hardly put him in the clear.
Mueller’s conclusions, summarized by Barr in a four-page letter to Congress, represented a victory for Trump on a key question that has hung over his presidency from the start: Did his campaign work with Russia to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton? That was further good news for the president on top of the Justice Department’s earlier announcement that Mueller had wrapped his investigation without new indictments. The resolution also could deflate the hopes of Democrats in Congress and on the 2020 campaign trail that incriminating findings from Mueller would hobble the president’s agenda and re-election bid.
But while Mueller was categorical in ruling out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice. Despite Trump’s claim of total exoneration, Mueller did not draw a conclusion one way or the other on whether he sought to stifle the Russia investigation through his actions including the firing of former FBI director James Comey.
Analysis: A cloud lifts over Trump, but at a cost
WASHINGTON (AP) — The cloud that has hung over President Donald Trump since the day he walked into the White House has been lifted.
Yes, special counsel Robert Mueller left open the question of whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation. Yes, separate federal probes still put Trump and his associates in legal jeopardy. And yes, Democrats will spend the coming months pushing for more details from Mueller, all while launching new probes into Trump’s administration and businesses.
But at its core, Mueller’s investigation gave the president what he wanted: public affirmation that he and his campaign did not coordinate with Russia to win the 2016 election. After spending months tweeting “No collusion,” Trump had been proven right.
The findings, summarized Sunday by the Justice Department , are sure to embolden Trump as he plunges into his re-election campaign, armed now with new fodder to claim the investigation was little more than a politically motivated effort to undermine his presidency.
“It’s a shame that our country had to go through this,” Trump said. “To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this.”
No collusion: Key takeaways from Mueller’s Russia findings
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller spent 22 months examining whether Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election.
His conclusion? No collusion.
But the question of whether Trump obstructed justice wasn’t so clear cut. In laying out Mueller’s findings , Attorney General William Barr said the special counsel didn’t weigh in on the question. Instead, Barr ultimately made the call that Trump didn’t violate the law, a move that quickly drew criticism from House Democrats who say the president is hardly in the clear.
Some key takeaways from Mueller’s findings:
NO COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA
Trump claims vindication in Mueller report, goes on attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump claimed vindication after nearly two years of unrelenting investigation on Sunday, seeing “complete and total exoneration” in the Justice Department’s account of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings and signaling he was eager to go on offense in the political fight ahead.
A buoyant Trump reacted to the release of Mueller chief findings with a mix of celebration, personal grievance and calls for political retribution. He cast the investigation as politically motivated, and bemoaned the probe’s toll on the country — and on him.
“It was just announced there was no collusion with Russia.” Trump said in brief remarks to 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.”
Trump spoke shortly after the Justice Department released a letter saying special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The four-page summary by Attorney General William Barr was less definitive on the question of whether Trump obstructed the probe. Mueller’s report “does not exonerate” on that issue and instead “sets out evidence on both sides of the question, ” Barr wrote. Barr, however, said he found insufficient evidence of a crime on the issue.
Harris sends message to old-guard: Every era has its end
ATLANTA (AP) — California Sen. Kamala Harris sent a subtle signal to the old-guard of Democratic politics that every era has its end.
At an Atlanta church service dedicated to youth Sunday, the presidential candidate compared leadership to a relay race in which each generation must ask themselves “what do we do during that period of time when we carry that baton.”
Then she added with a smile that for “the older leaders, it also becomes a question of let’s also know when to pass the baton.”
The 54-year-old senator — one of the younger contenders for the White House in 2020 — did not mention any other presidential hopeful or tie her remarks to the Democratic presidential scramble. Her spokeswoman said she only wanted to encourage the youth at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Her commentary to the congregation once led by Martin Luther King Jr. comes as former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, considers whether to join a field that already includes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is 77. Both men have run for president before and fallen short.
Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frighten cruise passengers
STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — Rodney Horgen recalled the moment he thought he was facing the end: when a huge wave crashed through the Viking Sky cruise ship’s glass doors and swept his wife 30 feet across the floor.
Horgen, 62, of Minnesota, was visiting Norway on a dream pilgrimage to his ancestral homeland when the luxury cruise quickly turned into a nightmare.
The Viking Sky was carrying 1,373 passengers and crew, going from Norway’s Arctic north to the southern city of Stavanger when it had engine trouble along Norway’s rough, frigid western coast. Struggling in heavy seas to avoid being dashed on the rocky coast, the ship issued a mayday call Saturday afternoon.
Horgan said he knew something was badly amiss when the guests on the heaving ship were summoned to the vessel’s muster points.
“When the windows and door flew open and the 2 meters (6 feet) of water swept people and tables 20 to 30 feet that was the breaker. I said to myself, ‘This is it,'” Horgen told The Associated Press. “I grabbed my wife but I couldn’t hold on. And she was thrown across the room. And then she got thrown back again by the wave coming back.”
Ardern says royal commission will investigate mosque attacks
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s prime minister has announced a top-level inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the massacre of 50 people in two Christchurch mosques.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country’s highest form of investigation, a royal commission of inquiry, was appropriate for “matters of the gravest public importance.”
Her Cabinet had previously agreed on holding an inquiry, but had not decided what kind of investigation would be held.
She said the Cabinet agreed Monday a royal commission of inquiry “will look at what could have or should have been done to prevent the attack.”
An Australian white supremacist has been charged with murder for the March 15 attacks.
Swedes keep room ready for US diplomats in Pyongyang
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Swedish diplomats are keeping a room ready for the U.S. to use if it ever decides to have an official presence in the North Korean capital.
The unmarked, slightly musty room next to the Swedish ambassador’s office in Pyongyang’s diplomatic quarter has been kept in an odd state of limbo for years.
On one shelf sits an issue of the Pyongyang Times from the days of detente between the late leader Kim Jong Il and President Bill Clinton. The top shelf is taken up by a newer edition — with a photo of the North’s current leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Donald Trump on its front page.
The room has more or less remained in this condition since a 1995 agreement that provided for the Swedes to serve as Washington’s “protective power” in North Korea. There were a lot of talks going on between the U.S. and North Korea at the time and it seemed like a good idea to prepare some sort of a foothold since the U.S. had no diplomatic relations with the North and thus no embassy of its own.
With the U.S. and North Korea engaged in the most serious talks since those years, the possibility of actually giving the little room an American tenant has returned to the negotiating table.
Slain teen’s mother joins supporters at vigil
RANKIN, Pa. (AP) — The mother of a black teenager fatally shot by a white police officer outside Pittsburgh told supporters at a vigil that she was glad to see her son’s life celebrated at a place that meant so much to him.
Michelle Kenney, mother of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II, joined friends of supporters at a vigil Sunday afternoon at the basketball court in the Hawkins Village housing complex in Rankin, where she lives.
“This was definitely his spot right here,” Kenney said. “If you was looking for Antwon, you’d find him on the basketball court.”
Supporters, she said, put the event together while she was sleeping.
“I haven’t slept in I don’t know how long,” she said. “And after the verdict was read, I literally went home and I collapsed.”
TIPPING OFF: Dawkins faces his alma mater as UCF meets Duke
The point guard for Mike Krzyzewski’s first Final Four team now is trying to lead Central Florida to its first Sweet 16 berth.
Standing in Johnny Dawkins’ way is his former coach and boss.
Dawkins, a former Naismith player of the year and assistant coach at Duke, will match up with Krzyzewski on Sunday as No. 9 seed UCF attempts to upset No. 1 seed Duke in an East Region matchup at Columbia, South Carolina.
It’s the type of scenario Dawkins would rather avoid, even though he’s been through this situation before. Dawkins faced Krzyzewski before during his tenure as Stanford’s head coach.
“No one looks forward to that type of situation,” Dawkins said. “It’s something that happens because we’re in the tournament and it means we’ve done well because we’re all moving forward, but it’s not something you look forward to.”
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