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By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump said in a CBS News interview that aired Sunday that he isn’t sure if he wants special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be made public.

The president was asked by “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan if he would have a problem with the report being released publicly.

“That’s totally up to to the attorney general,” Trump said. “I don’t know. It depends. I have no idea what it’s going to say.”

“So far this thing’s been a total witch hunt,” Trump continued. “And it doesn’t implicate me in any way. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no nothing. Doesn’t implicate me in any way, but I think it’s a disgrace.”

Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, said at his confirmation hearing last month that while special counsel regulations require Mueller to submit a report to the Justice Department, what the public eventually sees might simply be a report from the attorney general on Mueller’s conclusions.

The acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, said last week that he thinks Mueller is close to wrapping up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. If the attorney general opts not to make the report public, Congress could try to subpoena it or compel administration officials to testify about its findings.

Mueller has secured convictions or guilty pleas from a number of top Trump campaign officials, such as former campaign manager Paul Manafort and ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Manafort was convicted of several counts of tax and bank fraud, and Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and has cooperated with investigators.

Last month, Mueller arrested longtime Trump associate Roger Stone on charges of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress. Mueller has also charged Russian nationals with crimes stemming from his probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump told “Face the Nation” that “many” of the Russians charged by Mueller “were bloggers from Moscow or they were people that had nothing to do with me, had nothing to do with what they’re talking about or there were people that got caught telling a fib or telling a lie.”

Pointing to Stone, Trump said he “didn’t work on the campaign” except at its onset. The president said he hasn’t thought about pardoning Stone.

“It looks like he’s defending himself very well,” Trump said. “But you have to get rid of the Russia witch hunt, because it is indeed.”

“Remember this. Remember this,” Trump added. “There’s been no president that has been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.”



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