“The Special Counsel found no evidence that any Americans – including anyone associated with the Trump campaign – conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA (Internet Research Agency) in carrying out this illegal scheme. Indeed, as the report states, ‘[t]he investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.’ Put another way, the Special Counsel found no ‘collusion’ by any Americans in the IRA’s illegal activity.”
Attorney General William Barr
“After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the Special Counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.”
Attorney General William Barr
“In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. 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. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims.”
Attorney General William Barr
“Game over, folks. No collusion. No obstruction.”
Conservative blogger Matt Vespa
“Today, when Mueller says `no collusion,’ Democrats reply, `Thanks, but we’ll keep looking,'”
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee
“I called this a political proctology exam.” Trump had received a “clean bill of health. That should make people very good about democracy. And it should make people feel really great that a campaign I managed to its successful end did not collude with any Russians.
“We’re accepting apologies today, too, for anybody who feels the grace in offering them.
“Intent has never mattered to any of you, respectfully, throughout this whole thing. Was there intent to collude? Was there intent to commit a crime? Was there intent to conspire with Russians? Was there intent to steal the election from poor, old Hillary Clinton, I’m sure for whom most of you voted.
“The intent matters and the president’s intention here was not to do that. And so intent matters and I know you want to cherry-pick one line here or one line there because the big lie that you’ve let fly for two years, it’s over folks.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaking to reporters at the White House
“I wish I believed it was their last gasp. I think (it’s) the beginning of the next chapter. I think it is going to be first and foremost focusing on… they want the entire document and that’s going lead then to charges that he obstructed justice and then it’s going to be ‘Katie bar the door.’ It’s going to be months and months in my opinion of demanding a completely unredacted copy of it.”
“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the special counsel’s investigation is for special counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
“Democrats will continue to probe President Trump and his Administration’s misconduct, corruption and incompetence as well as issues that matter most in the lives of the American people from the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs to the Trump’s sabotage of families’ affordable health care, and the Administration’s inhumane family separation policy. The American people deserve answers and we’re not going to back down from getting them.”
Ashley Etienne, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“We know it wasn’t a criminal conspiracy with the Russians, but then what was it? Because Robert Mueller spent 22 months looking at it, and if there was nothing, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have taken 22 months to say nothing.”
Nicolle Wallace of MSNBC
“Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says”
Associated Press headline. Look for anything but “No collusion” in MSM media headlines.
“He made a show of allegiance to the President over the American people by declaring ‘no collusion’ and excusing the President on the basis of his emotional state. He has proved that he’s an embedded Trump ally who puts this President’s political future above of the rule of law. That makes him unfit to serve. He must resign.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)
“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)
“Happy people don’t obstruct justice. Trump’s frustration at leaks and investigation are evidence of guilt, not innocence. But let’s see the report . .”
CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin
“This is just embarrassing. It’s literally Elle Woods’ excuse for why her client couldn’t have committed murder in ‘Legally Blonde.’”
Emily Zanotti of the Daily Wire reacting to Toobin. In the movie Elle Woods tries to convince a jury her client is innocent because she exercises, which causes endorphins, which makes people happy. “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands,” she reasoned.
“The report pointedly suggests that if Congress believes that there is more to be done in this matter, then Congress should do it. And that’s right: This is now a political fight, not a question of criminal justice, and it will be settled politically. The House can impeach. Or the House can move on. Your call, Madame Speaker.”
Kevin Williamson, the National Review
“Barr didn’t take the job of attorney general for the sake of résumé padding — he already had the job on his résumé. He thought his experience, knowledge, and credibility gave him a unique ability to lead the Justice Department at an incredibly fraught time. Nothing he has done so far has cast any doubt on that assessment. We trust he will shrug off the absurd rage directed at him, and carry on.”
National Review editors
“We have to focus on more than just the end of the Mueller report and more than how all this started. We have to focus on the two years in which opponents of Donald Trump managed to forestall accountability for this. Now think about this, you had Jim Comey, who hid his investigation from everybody. He didn’t tell the public about it obviously. He also did not tell the courts about it. He did not tell Congress about it, which is a routine thing to do. He did not give a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign. And why? Because everyone was banking that Hillary Clinton would win and that no one would ever know what the FBI did here.”
Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
“The country is both numb and actively rooting for Trump the way we rooted for Dirty Harry to violate a perp’s rights in the 1970s. He was elected to do two things: to light the system on fire and to entertain.” Among his supporters, he offers the “sheer spectacle, the joy, of watching this guy get away with stuff.”
Scandal-management expert Eric Dezenhall
“The Democrats are helping him. They are. Take the focus on Russia-gate. What’s that all about? I mean, it was pretty obvious at the beginning that you’re not going to find anything very serious about Russian interference in elections. As far as Trump collusion with the Russians, that was never going to amount to anything more than minor corruption, maybe building a Trump hotel in Red Square or something like that, but nothing of any significance.
“The Democrats invested everything in this issue,” Chomsky said. “Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election. …”
Noted progressive scholar Noam Chomsky
“Time for the conspiracy fanatics to take one last hit from the collusion crackpipe. Suck in deeply and let the anticipatory euphoria wash over you. Addiction is difficult to treat but this is your first step on the road to recovery.”
Liberal journalist Michael Tracey
“Most people don’t understand what it is to not only to be personally investigated for something you didn’t do but to have your friends, family members and associates placed in legal jeopardy over it. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team systematically targeted the people around the president, squeezing them like lemons, indicting them on mostly process crimes created by the investigation itself. They reviewed everyone’s emails, text messages, phone calls, bank statements — and yet, their conclusion on collusion was clear and definitive. It has to be believed.
“It’s time for Democrats and the country to move past the Russia collusion narrative, and for the media to ’fess up. If we are not going to respect the outcome of the Mueller report, then what was the point of the whole exercise? They found no collusion and they did not charge obstruction. The cloud under which the president and his associates have lived for more than two years deserves to be lifted.”
Mark Penn is a managing partner of the Stagwell Group, a private equity firm specializing in marketing services companies, as well as chairman of the Harris Poll