THE long-awaited release of the Mueller report has brought with it an avalanche of revelations about Trump’s campaign and the inner-workings of the White House.
Although the final 448-page document has cleared the US President of criminal conspiracy with Moscow, it has still uncovered plenty of juicy details.
From Trump’s explosive reaction to the appointment of Robert Mueller, to press secretary Sarah Sanders spreading fake news, SunOnline has rounded up the most shocking moments.
SARAH SANDERS’ FAKE NEWS
Sarah Sanders has been accused of lying to reporters at a press conference[/caption]
White House press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had no basis for suggesting FBI officials had lost faith in then-director James Comey at the time of his firing, as she’d claimed.
After Trump fired Comey in May 2017, Sanders told reporters that she had personally heard from “countless members” within the agency who were happy with the president’s decision.
She added: “And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.
“Accordingly, the President accepted the recommendation of his Deputy Attorney General to remove James Comey from his position.”
In the Mueller report, Sanders said her comments at the press conference were a “slip of the tongue.”
“She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey was a comment she made ‘in the heat of the moment’ that was not founded on anything,” the report states.
Sanders is now facing calls to resign from journalists.
HOPE HICKS HANGS UP ON PUTIN
Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks received a call from a Russian man shortly after Trump’s election win[/caption]
Campaign press secretary Hope Hicks received a call from an unknown Russian man shortly after Trump’s victory on election night.
She had difficulty understanding the foreign accent, but made out the words “Putin call”.
Hicks told the caller to send her an email and the following morning she received a message with the subject line “Message from Putin”.
In the email, Putin offered his congratulations to Trump on his victory and said he looked forward to them working together on “leading Russian-American relations out of crisis”.
Hicks then emailed Jared Kushner, asking: “Can you look into this? Don’t want to get duped but don’t want to blow off Putin!”
TRUMP SAYS ‘I’M F***ED’
Trump feared the Russia probe would end his presidency and declared “I’m f***ed” when he was first told about Robert Mueller’s investigation, the report says.
The US President made the comment to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he told him about the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
According to Sessions’ chief of staff Jody Hunt, Trump said: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f***ed.”
Trump, angry at the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation, asked Sessions: “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” the reports claims.
The report says that The Donald declared: “This is the worst thing to ever happen to me.”
TRUMP TRIED TO GET MUELLER FIRED TWICE
Trump tried to fire Mueller TWICE while he was probing him over potential links to Moscow, the report states.
The report says the brash billionaire instructed White House lawyer Don McGahn to remove Muller from the probe.
This happened once month after the former FBI chief was appointed to the investigation following Trump’s sacking of James Comey.
According to the report, Trump twice asked McGhan to fire the investigator telling him “Mueller has to go” adding “call me back when you do it.”
McGhan reportedly felt “word down” and “trapped” by the US President and tried to quit rather than carry out the alleged command.
However, when White House aides persuaded him not to leave, Trump never asked him if he had fired Mueller, the report says.
Trump attempted to fire Robert Mueller from the Russia probe, a bombshell report claims[/caption]
AIDES IGNORED TRUMP’S ORDERS TO INTERVENE
Trump made several attempts to get the people around him to curtail the probe into his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The Mueller report found that Trump’s inner circle saved him from himself as they refused to carry out orders that could have crossed the line into obstructing justice.
Among those who did not comply with Mr Trump were James Comey, the FBI director who continued the investigation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.
McGahn also refused to remove Mr Mueller.
“The president’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” the special counsel wrote.
SESSIONS CARRIED A RESIGNATION LETTER
Sessions, fearful of his tense relationship with Trump, carried a resignation letter with him every time he visited the White House for months.
Trump eventually relented from his demands for several associates to obtain Sessions’s resignation, but continued to publicly assail his attorney general on Twitter and in speeches.
“[I]n light of the President’s frequent public attacks, Sessions prepared another resignation letter and for the rest of the year carried it with him in his pocket every time he went to the White House,” Mueller wrote.
Trump fired Sessions after the 2018 midterm elections.
WHY MUELLER DIDN’T INTERVIEW TRUMP
President Trump has claimed he ‘could have fired everyone’ to stop the Mueller probe into his alleged ties with Moscow[/caption]
The Mueller report lays out why the special counsel’s office did not interview Trump as part of the investigation.
The two sides spent “more than a year” negotiating the conditions under which the president could answer questions, but in the end only submitted answers to written inquiries.
However, the report says that Mr Trump only answered written questions about “certain Russia-related topics” and not about instances of where he may have obstructed justice.
In the end, Mr Mueller decided not to subpoena Mr Trump because it would take too long — not because there was any legal impediment.
“Ultimately, while we believed that we had the authority and legal justification to issue a grand jury subpoena to obtain the President’s testimony, we chose not to do so,” the report states.
“We made that decision in view of the substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely produce at a late stage in our investigation.”
ROLE OF WIKILEAKS
Members of Trump’s 2016 campaign were in contact with WikiLeaks and people close to its operation regarding leaked Clinton campaign emails.
The report also states that Trump and other officials worked with an unnamed individual to find out when the website was to release any more information damaging to Clinton.
This individual was most likely longtime political operative and Trump associate Roger Stone.
“After WikiLeaks released politically damaging Democratic Party emails that were reported to have been hacked by Russia, Trump publicly expressed scepticism that Russia was responsible for the hacks at the same time that he and other Campaign officials privately sought information [redacted] about any further planned WikiLeaks releases,” the report states.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
It’s now up to Congress to decide what to do with special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings about President Donald Trump.
While the special counsel declined to prosecute Trump on obstruction of justice, he did not exonerate him, all but leaving the question to Congress.
MOST READ IN NEWS
Mueller’s report provides fresh evidence of Trump’s interference in the Russia probe, challenging lawmakers to respond. The risks for both parties are clear if they duck the responsibility or prolong an inquiry that, rather than coming to a close, may be just beginning.
“The responsibility now falls to Congress,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has the power to launch impeachment proceedings.