Trump: Mueller probe 'attempted takeover' of government

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that a just- concluded investigation against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was an "attempted takeover" of the U.S. government.

"We can never allow … these treasonous acts to happen to another president," Trump told Fox News.

In a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr said Mueller did not find any evidence that Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

On the question of obstruction of justice, the letter said: "While the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

"This was an attempted takeover of our government, of our country, an illegal takeover," Trump said. "If it were the other way around, where I was doing it to [former] President [Barack] Obama or a Democrat, it would be virtually the maximum sentence that you can find."

He also said that if such a thing had happened to Obama, 100 people would be "in jail right now and it would be treason".

"It would be considered treason and they'd be in jail for the rest of their lives," he added.

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion with a Russian effort that U.S. intelligence agencies determined set out to undercut 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the White House.

Mueller has eschewed the public spotlight throughout his investigation, which has during its course resulted in sweeping indictments being handed down to top Trump campaign officials, including former chairman Paul Manafort.

In all, five people with close ties to the campaign have pled guilty to charges brought by Mueller, including Manafort; his deputy, Rick Gates; former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; campaign advisor George Papadopoulos and longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

But no officials tied to Trump have been indicted on charges related to Russian influence efforts.

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