We Now Know the Full Sentence of a Crucial Quote From William Barr's Summary of the Mueller Report and We Can See Why Barr Cut It

Win McNamee/Getty Images, United States Department of Justice

On March 24, 2019, Attorney General William Barr published a premature summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report in which Barr claimed that Mueller found there was "no collusion" between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

On Monday, conservative lawyer George Conway and CNN analyst Eli Honig predicted that Barr was hiding something based on how he summarized Mueller's findings.


Turns out that Conway and Honig were exactly right - to the letter.

We now know that Barr intentionally omitted the first - and most consequential section - of Mueller's conclusion on whether there was willful cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to sway the election in Trump's favor:

Mueller's report explains:

"Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

While it is true that Mueller concluded that there was no evidence of a coordinated effort, he did find that both parties expected to benefit from each other's actions.

Mueller determined that a proverbial "wink wink nudge nudge" is not legally sufficient to establish criminal behavior.

Still, Barr tried to obfuscate the whole truth in order to protect the president.

Nevertheless, the fact that the Trump campaign and Russia knew what was going on and exploited the opportunity is not sitting well with people.

Legal nuance has become public relations fodder for the administration, and frustration is mounting.

Barr also misled the American people regarding Mueller's conclusions pertaining to Trump's suspected obstruction of justice at a press conference he held prior to the release of his redacted version of the report.

Barr’s comments were remarkable.

“Although the Deputy Attorney General and I disagreed with some of the Special Counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we did not rely solely on that in making our decision,” Barr said.

Barr added that Trump’s emotions in his attempts to obstruct justice did not amount to criminal intent. In other words, Trump was angry, but not corrupt.

“In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context,” Barr said in his prepared remarks. “President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability.”

Mueller's report, however, is far more damning than Barr let on.

Specifically, the special counsel’s report indicates that there were 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice by Trump, including efforts to have Mueller fired and pressuring former AG Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself.

“We did not make a traditional prosecution decision,” the report says, “but the evidence we obtained supports several general statements about the president’s conduct.”

Mueller hinted that Trump did, in fact, attempt to obstruct justice.

"Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exetting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations. The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels. These actions ranged from efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect of the Attorney General's recusal; to the attempted use of official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential to influence their testimony. Viewing the acts collectively can help to illuminate their significance. For example, the President's direction to McGahn to have the Special Counsel removed was followed almost immediately by his direction to Lewandowski to tell the Attorney General to limit the scope of the Russia investigation to prospective election-interference only-a temporal connection that suggests that both acts were taken with a related purpose with respect to the investigation."

Though Mueller declined to formally accuse or indict Trump due to Justice Department procedure, he wrote that Congress has a duty ensure that no person, not even a sitting president, is above the law.

“We concluded that congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice," Mueller wrote of Trump's suspected obstructive behavior. “The Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize a president for obstructing justice.”

Congress has a big decision to make.

“The conclusion that congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of the office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

Scott Olson/Getty Images // Scott Olson/Getty Images

Weeks after a bungled testing kit rollout from President Donald Trump's CDC, governors in rural areas are still having trouble obtaining an adequate number of testing kits to properly determine just how quickly the virus is spreading throughout their communities.

According to a leaked phone call between Trump, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a group of rural state governors, the President once again expressed skepticism that governors were on the brink of a life-threatening shortage.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Despite the strong possibility of spreading the virus that's caused a national health crisis in the United States, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. came under fire last week for ordering university faculty back to campus and for giving students the option to return as well.

Falwell is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, and has previously echoed Trump's initial dismissals of the threat posed by the highly contagious virus. He even previously claimed that the virus was a biological weapon engineered by enemies of the United States.

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C-SPAN

If you think Fox News is the most loyal network to President Donald Trump, you likely haven't heard of One America News Network, or OAN.

The unabashedly pro-Trump network—largely considered a far-Right fringe outlet—has enjoyed expanded viewership over recent years thanks to glowing reviews from the President.

It's even been added to the prestigious White House press pool.

People were reminded of the network's bizarre Trump-era ascension during Monday's White House press briefing regarding the pandemic that—at the time of this writing—has resulted in over 3,000 deaths across the United States.

OAN's White House correspondent Chanel Rion compared the growing number of deaths from the pandemic to abortion procedures, asking Trump if abortions should be suspended all together.

The question flummoxed Trump himself.

Watch below.

Rion said:

"2,405 Americans have died from [the virus] in the last 60 days. Meanwhile, you have 2,369 children who are killed by their mothers through elective abortions each day. That's 16 and a half thousand children killed every week. Two states have suspended elective abortion to make more resources available...Should more states be doing the same?"

Even Trump seemed confused by the question, and notably didn't wade into the abortion aspect of the question:

"I think what we're doing, we're trying to, as a group ,governors—and that's Republicans and Democrats—we're just working together to solve this problem. What you're mentioning has been going on for a long time and it's a sad event, a lot of sad events in this country. But what we're doing now is working on the virus...and I think we're doing a great job—as good a job as you can possibly do."

People noticed that even Trump—either purposely or otherwise—didn't take the bait from one of his favorite networks.




Rion, who is Asian-American, previously made headlines when she asked Trump—who'd been criticized for describing the virus as "Chinese Virus"—if the phrase "Chinese food" was racist.

Her questions, while satiating viewers who prioritize "owning the libs" over potentially lifesaving information, have only confirmed the degradation of the press corps under the Trump era.




OAN's only redeemable quality? It doesn't claim to be "fair and balanced."


Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images // Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage

Even in the face of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump hasn't dispensed with his typical pettiness.

The President made that perfectly clear on Sunday afternoon, as deaths caused by the national health crisis continued to increase.

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JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images // Hernando County Sheriff

After weeks of dismissing the current pandemic as little more than a flu overblown by the media to undermine his presidency, President Donald Trump and his administration are finally beginning to acknowledge the severity of the threat posed by the virus that's upended daily life in the United States.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne apparently hadn't gotten that memo.

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Donald Trump held his pandemic press briefing in the Rose Garden on Sunday—but his mood was far from rosy.

One particularly heated exchange came when he took a question from PBS NewsHour's White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Alcindor asked Trump about the the skepticism he expressed that New York—the epicenter of the health crisis facing the United States—was exaggerating the number of lifesaving ventilators it needs to help curb the virus.

Trump interrupted Alcindor, claiming he "didn't say" that, then proceeded to berate her for her so-called "threatening" question.

Watch below.

Alcindor asked:

"You've said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment governors are requesting, they don't actually need. You said New York might not need 30 thousand—"

Trump interrupted:

"I didn't say that. I didn't say that. Why don't you people...why don't you act in a little more positive? It's always trying to get me. Getcha, getcha. You know what, that's why nobody trusts the media anymore."

Though the President didn't reciprocate, Alcindor remained professional and repeated her question despite the President's attacks on her journalistic integrity in front of her colleagues.

What's more, Alcindor was right—and video proves it.

Alcindor referred to statements Trump made on far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.

Watch below.

Trump said:

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40 thousand or 30 thousand ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators and now all of a sudden they're saying, 'can we have 30 thousand ventilators?'"

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made clear that New York has yet to reach the height of the pandemic. The current number of ventilators is not enough to treat all of the infections to come, which could force doctors into rationing them and choosing not to treat patients with less optimistic prognoses.

Alcindor later pointed out that Trump did, in fact, express skepticism that New York was asking for ventilators they didn't need.

People called Trump out for responding to his own words with petty attacks.



They praised Alcindor for holding him accountable when so many others won't.




This was far from the first time Trump personally attacked Alcindor for doing her job.

Astonishingly, Trump denied his own words again in the same press conference when CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond asked Trump to elaborate on his Friday statements that governors aren't being "appreciative" enough of him and his administration.

If a President isn't beholden to congressional oversight, basic transparency, and even his own words, how can he be beholden to the American people?

For more stories of Trump's ineptitude from people who were there, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.