President Trump on Friday said he “let everybody testify” in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, amid a heated battle this week between the White House and congressional Democrats over subpoenas for testimony from former and current administration officials.
The president, departing the White House on Friday for Indianapolis, touted his administration’s transparency throughout the nearly two-year-long Russia investigation led by Mueller and his team. The president said his administration gave “1.4 million” documents as part of the probe.
“I let White House Counsel Don McGahn testify—I let everybody testify. I think McGahn did for 30 hours. I said I want everybody to testify,” Trump told reporters.
“I let everybody testify. There’s never ever been transparency like this,” he continued. “So we got a great ruling, we got the ruling which I knew we were going to get because I have nothing to do with Russia nor the campaign.”
The president underscored the findings in Mueller’s nearly 500-page report, which was released to the public and Congress in a redacted format last week. The report revealed that the special counsel did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia—a conclusion Trump has touted and repeated for days.
“With all of this transparency, we finish. No collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said Friday. “But then I get out, the first day, they say, ‘let’s do it again.’ I say, that’s enough, we have to run a country. We have a very great country to run.”
Trump was referring to the sweeping Trump-focused investigations in the House of Representatives. This week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed McGahn to testify before his panel. The White House blocked McGahn’s testimony, and the president vowed to fight “all” congressionally-issued subpoenas.
“Go through it with the House, the Senate, no collusion, no collusion; no obstruction, no obstruction—again? We have to go through it?” Trump said. “This is a pure political witch hunt. The only thing I did is make this country stronger.”
The president added: “So if I’m guilty of anything, it’s that I’ve been a great president and the Democrats don’t like it.”
But despite his comments, Mueller did not come to a conclusion on the matter of whether the president obstructed justice—rather, the report revealed an array of controversial actions and requests made by the president that were examined as part of Mueller’s obstruction inquiry.
“On June 17, 2017, the president called [White House Counsel Don] McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report stated, referencing the Watergate scandal.
The report also revealed that when the media reported on the president’s request for McGahn to have Mueller removed, the president directed White House officials “to tell McGahn to dispute the story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed.”
“McGahn refused to back away from what he remembered happening,” the report said.
The report went on to say that two days after the initial request to McGahn, the president made another attempt to “affect the course of the Russia investigation.”
McGahn’s interview with investigators factored prominently into this section, including a claim that McGahn disobeyed Trump’s call to have him seek Mueller’s removal.
This week, the president said he “never” told McGahn to fire Mueller, and that if he wanted to remove the special counsel, he “could have done it” himself.