President Trump on Wednesday said he thinks that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report should be made public – signaling his confidence that the investigation will find no clear evidence of collusion between his 2016 campaign and the Russian government.
Speaking to the media ahead of a trip to Ohio, the president continued to lambast the investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 election – calling it “ridiculous” – but said he wants to see its findings nonetheless.
“Let it come out, let people see it,” Trump said. “I think it’s ridiculous, but I want to see it.”
Trump’s comments come less than a week after the House passed a resolution to encourage Attorney General William Barr to release the report’s findings to both Congress and the country amid fears information about the investigation would not be made public. The resolution enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support and passed in a floor vote 420-0, with only four Republicans voting present.
Following the passage of the resolution, Trump vented his anger on Twitter at the intrigue over Mueller’s investigation – calling it "illegal" and that "Russian Collusion was nothing more than an excuse by the Democrats for losing an Election that they thought they were going to win."
There has been widespread speculation that Mueller is close to wrapping up his investigation, and the White House and congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are planning for any number of outcomes.
The latest signal that the investigation could be coming to a close is the expected departure of top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who led the charge on the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. As of this week, Manafort will face 81 months in prison.
Trump has grown increasingly confident the report will produce what he insisted all along: no clear evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and his 2016 campaign. Trump and his advisers are considering how to weaponize those possible findings for the 2020 race, according to current and former White House officials and presidential confidants who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
A change is underway as well among congressional Democrats, who have long believed the report would offer damning evidence against the president. The Democrats are busy building new avenues for evidence to come out, opening a broad array of investigations of Trump's White House and businesses that go far beyond Mueller's focus on Russian interference to help Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Whenever Mueller does submit his report, Barr will review it and is expected to create his own report to send to Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to explain the special counsel’s findings. The attorney general is ultimately the official who decides what, if anything, in the report can become public.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.