elections

Mueller report shows Trump aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial matters
Special counsel highlights chaotic West Wing where staff tried to save president from himself

President Donald Trump's top aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial legal matters during his first year in office, according to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Presidential orders given but often ignored. Ample cursing. Aides working behind the scenes to protect Donald Trump from his own anger and impulsiveness. And an effort to prevent the president from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III despite his determination to do so.

Mueller’s long-anticipated report reveals a chaotic West Wing driven by paranoia and frequent outbursts from a green president who wanted to remove the special counsel and demanded that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, be more like predecessors Robert F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr., whom he felt “protected” the respective presidents they served, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Mueller report is a reminder that Russian hack hit House races, too
Talks between the DCCC and NRCC about using stolen information stalled in September

The Justice Department released special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report provided new details Thursday about how Russian agents hacked into Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee computers in 2016, renewing the question of whether the two parties would agree not to use stolen material in future political attacks.

Leaders of the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee came close to such an an agreement in late 2018, but talks broke down.

Mueller cites ‘fairness’ in reasons not to decide if Trump obstructed justice
Such an evaluation ‘could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes,’ Mueller wrote

Media films a few pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III lists in his report which of President Donald Trump’s actions his team scrutinized to determine whether the president tried to obstruct justice — enough that they could not rule out that Trump committed a crime.

But Mueller’s team decided they should refrain from deciding whether Trump should be prosecuted because of several factors — including “fairness,” the unique role of the president in government and previous Justice Department opinions that a sitting president could not be indicted.

Trump-Russia collusion: What the Mueller report says — and doesn’t say
Mueller found ‘evidence of numerous links’ between campaign and Russians but not enough to support conspiracy

Pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III uncovered “evidence of numerous links” between Donald Trump campaign officials and individuals with or claiming ties to the Russian government, according to a redacted version of his final report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

But Mueller declined to charge any of those campaign officials under conspiracy, coordination, or campaign finance laws for their contacts with Russians, because the evidence didn’t reach a prosecutable threshold.

Trump takes victory lap on Mueller report: ‘I’m having a good day’
Jubilant president spoke at a Wounded Warrior Project event at the White House

President Donald Trump speaks during a Wounded Warrior Project event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday, the same day the Department of Justice released a redacted version of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A jubilant President Donald Trump, eager to shape public opinion about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, declared Thursday that he is “having a good day.”

Why? “It’s called ‘no collusion, no obstruction,’” Trump said during an event with wounded U.S. military personnel, adding that a probe like Mueller’s “should never happen to another president.”

Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ tweet: President declares ‘GAME OVER’
‘No collusion, no obstruction,’ text on latest Twitter image reads

President Donald Trump took as vindication Thursday remarks by his attorney general, William Barr, on the special counsel investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Minutes after Attorney General William Barr delivered an across-the-board vindication of his claims of “no collusion” with Russia and “no obstruction” of justice, President Donald Trump declared victory in one of his favorite ways: using imagery of himself in the style of “Game of Thrones.”

Trump’s personal Twitter account posted an image of the president standing amid fog and the words “GAME OVER” prominently displayed. 

What candidates running to replace Trump are saying about Barr and Mueller report
Attorney general reiterates decision that president’s actions did not qualify as obstruction

Protesters gather in Lafayette Square across from the White House on Feb. 18 to oppose President Donald Trump’s border wall emergency declaration (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Presidential hopefuls on Thursday quickly denounced Attorney General William Barr and renewed calls for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who entered the presidential race last week, called on Barr to resign, saying he should never have been confirmed and should have recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation. 

Barr declares ‘no collusion’ ahead of redacted Mueller report release
Redacted version of long-awaited report will be released Thursday before noon, attorney general says

Attorney General William Barr, left, leaves after a White House meeting on March 21. He held a press conference Thursday at the Department of Justice to discuss the Mueller report. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

O’Rourke touts Senate run in White House bid — even though he lost
Texan cites battle with Cruz as evidence he can energize Democrats, win over Republicans

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during his town hall event in Alexandria, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ruth traveled to Texas last year to knock on doors when former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke ran for Senate. Now she’s concerned he’s repeating mistakes from that race, and she told him so to his face.  

Ruth, who declined to give her last name, told O’Rourke at a town hall meeting Wednesday she did not think he drew enough of a contrast with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who was narrowly re-elected in November.

Club for Growth backs a woman in 17-person North Carolina primary
Celeste Cairns is one of three women running for GOP nod in safe seat

The Club for Growth PAC has backed one of the three women vying for the GOP nomination in a safe Republican seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

The Club for Growth PAC backed accountant Celeste Cairns in the crowded primary for North Carolina’s 3rd District on Wednesday, elevating one of three women seeking the nomination in this safe Republican seat. 

Seventeen Republicans are vying for the nomination for the eastern North Carolina seat that has been vacant since Walter B. Jones died earlier this year. A candidate must win at least 30 percent of the vote in the April 30 primary to avoid a runoff in July.