A day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced his resignation and said only the Congress can 'formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing,' President Donald Trump once more lashed out at the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, denying that he was in any way involved in Russia's efforts to meddle in the last race for President.
"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected," President Trump wrote on Twitter. “It was a crime that didn't exist.”
Asked by reporters about the tweet a few minutes later at the White House, the President seemed to quickly back track from his tweet.
“No, Russia did not help me get elected,” Mr. Trump said.
The Mueller investigation found that Russia had undertaken what the Special Counsel described Wednesday as a 'concerted attack' on the U.S. political system in 2016, with a goal of harming the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
In a series of posts on Thursday morning, Mr. Trump labeled accusations made against him by political critics as 'horrendous,' noting that Mueller brought no criminal charges against him for any election conspiracy with Russia.
"Mueller didn't find Obstruction either," the President said, without mentioning how Mueller repeatedly said on Wednesday that he was restricted by Justice Department policies from bringing any charges at all against a sitting President.
"Presidential Harassment!" the President added.
The President's comments came as Democrats in Congress were wrestling with their next step, as more calls for impeachment proceedings bubbled up from rank-and-file lawmakers after Wednesday's public statement by the Special Counsel.
Democrats focused repeatedly on Mueller's statement - about possible obstruction of justice charges against the President - “if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.”
“The Special Counsel’s office did their job; now it’s time for Congress to do our job,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
In the Senate, Democrats used Mueller's statement to call for action on election security legislation, arguing Mueller's warning about future cyber-meddling should not be ignored.
In the House, Democrats said all options were on the table, including impeachment proceedings, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued to make clear she was not ready to jump into that political wildfire at this point.
“Mueller needs to testify and help the Public learn about his important work and crimes committed by Trump,” tweeted Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).
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