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Thu Apr 18, 2019, 07:51 PM

The Mueller Report Is 448 Pages Long. You Need to Know These 7 Key Things.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, produced a nearly 400-page report that painted a deeply unflattering picture of President Trump but stopped short of accusing him of criminal wrongdoing. Here are seven takeaways.

1. Trump did try to sabotage the investigation. His staff defied him.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Mr. Trump that a special counsel had been appointed in May 2017, Mr. Trump grew angry: “I’m f***ed,” he said, believing his presidency was ruined. He told Mr. Sessions, “This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

Mr. Trump began trying to get rid of Mr. Mueller, only to be thwarted by his staff. In instance after instance, his staff acted as a bulwark against Mr. Trump’s most destructive impulses. In June 2017, the president instructed Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, to remove Mr. Mueller, but Mr. McGahn resisted. Rather than carry out the president’s order, he decided he would rather resign.

Two days later, Mr. Trump asked another trusted adviser, Corey Lewandowski, to tell Mr. Sessions to end the investigation. Mr. Lewandowski did not want to, so he punted to a colleague, Rick Dearborn. He, too, “was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through.”

2. So many lies. So many changed stories.

One of the unanswered questions of the past two years — which helped fuel the F.B.I. investigation, congressional inquiries and journalistic scrutiny — is why so many people lied, changed their stories and issued misleading statements to both the public and federal authorities.

The report recaps one false statement after another. Just a few examples:

Mr. Trump was livid when journalists revealed that he had unsuccessfully ordered Mr. Mueller’s firing. The president tried to get Mr. McGahn to say publicly that was false, but Mr. McGahn refused, saying that the news reports were accurate. Mr. Mueller’s report notably declared that Mr. McGahn was “credible.”



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