Romney says Mueller report left him ‘sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection’

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney on Friday added his thoughts on the release of a redacted version of the special counsel report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The former GOP 2012 presidential candidate argued that it was “good news” that President Trump could not be charged with conspiring with Russia. “The alternative,” Romney said in a statement, “would have taken us through a wrenching process with the potential for constitutional crisis. The business of government can move on.”

But Romney, who has had a contentious relationship with the president in recent years, said he was “sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President.

“I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine,” he went on to say.

“Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was released into Washington’s partisan scrum Thursday morning. The long-awaited report showed investigators did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia – as Attorney General Bill Barr declared last month and repeated in a morning press conference. But it did reveal myriad actions taken by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction inquiry.

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This included President Trump allegedly telling his White House counsel in June 2017 to inform the acting attorney general that Mueller had conflicts of interest and "must be removed." The report said Trump also fumed over the original appointment -- lamenting it would mean the "end of my presidency" -- first telling then-DOJ leader Jeff Sessions he should resign, and later trying to get Sessions to take back control of the probe.

Mueller ultimately did not reach a conclusion on whether the president's conduct amounted to obstruction, stating: "[W]hile this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.